A new season of INN CROWD kicks off this weekend, and promises to bring some of the UK’s most talented performers to local pubs across East Anglia. This innovative project has been a hit at local watering holes across the region.

INN CROWD is a project run in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire by community arts charity Creative Arts East, aiming to support pubs in offering something a little different to their local pub-goers, in the form of spoken word-inspired events. This helps them attract new customers as well as widening the pub experience for their regular punters, and helps cement the pub as a vital part of rural community life.

The third season launches this weekend with the World Premiere of specially commissioned show ‘Holmes & Watson: The Case of the Rhyming Crime’, written specifically for the project by seasoned festival performer Dan Simpson. It promises to be a razor-sharp comedic exchange of words, giving audiences a chance to see the famous detective and his trusty accomplice like never before.

As well as the ‘Holmes & Watson’ commission, the INN CROWD project has also provided special development funds for the following shows to be adapted specifically for pub audiences: critically acclaimed and award-winning poet Luke Wright (Norfolk and Norwich Festival hit for 2 years running); a one-man play where the famous Lord Byron regales local pubs with his tales of debauchery and romance; and interactive show ‘Voted Out’ by local performance poets Mark Grist and Tim Clare, in which audiences can use state-of-the-art technology to interact with the performance, voting real-time on the subject of the poems themselves. Other upcoming events include shows by duo Living Spit, who will deliver their unique brand of musical comedy, and previous INN CROWD hit David Mynne with a one-man version of Great Expectations.

One local pub-goer said about the project: “This is a brilliant idea to bring artists not normally available to rural audiences. I wouldn’t normally go to the theatre, so am really pleased with the performance and how accessible it was.”

Events are happening all over Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge over the next few months, so if you fancy a bit of poetry with your pint, head to the INN CROWD website to find out more.

INN CROWD is a partnership project run by rural touring organisations Creative Arts East in East Anglia and Applause in Kent and Sussex, and aims to reinforce pubs as central hubs in rural communities by supporting landlords to offer exceptional live events to their punters. It is a three-year long project will continue until 2019, with expert support from Writers’ Centre Norwich, New Writing South and Pub is the Hub, and funding from Arts Council England. The scheme is unique as it also supports artists to gain valuable insight into rural communities and provides a platform for them to tour their shows to a whole new audience.

For more information about INN CROWD, especially if you’re a pub landlord interested in becoming part of the project, visit www.inncrowd.org.uk or contact [email protected].

Upcoming INN CROWD Events

(Please note: There will be many more performances confirmed and up online over the coming weeks and months, so keep an eye on the INN CROWD website or Creative Arts East website for the latest listings.)

‘Holmes & Watson: The Case of the Rhyming Crime’

(by Dr Illingworth and Mr Simpson)

Holmes and Watson are back! Join the famous duo in a razor-sharp exchange of words as their conversation becomes a spectacular display of rhyme and reasoning. But as the consulting detective and his trusty Doctor companion recount their successful cases in verse and metre, not all is as it seems.

See Holmes and Watson as never before, as Arthur Conan Doyle’s adventures are turned into clever verse and lively lyrics by two accomplished spoken word performers. As the pair engage in an acrobatic session of verbal cut and thrust, one mystery deepens over all others: what has become of Moriarty?

Sherlock and poetry are totally complementary

and what’s the result? Why – it’s completely elementary!

10/02/2018, 7.30pm – The Wheatsheaf, West Beckham, Norfolk

11/02/2017, 4.30pm – The Dun Cow, Christchurch, Norfolk

12/02/2018, 8.00pm – The Kings Head, Diss, Norfolk

13/02/2018, 8.15pm – The Burston Crown, Burston, Norfolk

‘Circled in the Radio Times’

(by John Osborne, writer and performer of the previous INN CROWD success ‘John Peel’s Shed’)

Circled in the Radio Times is a storytelling show. It’s funny, interesting and about something very easy to relate to: television. The show starts off with a box of old copies of the Radio Times. He pieces together the life of the previous owner by the shows that have been circled. This show is not just about that box of old copies of the Radio Times but the role television plays in our lives and the changing ways all of us watch TV. 

‘Deceptively layered and delightfully cosy storytelling. A 15-tog hug of a show.’ – The Stage 

23/02/2018, 8.00pm – The Black Bull Inn, Balsham. Cambridgeshire

‘Great Expectations’

(by David Mynne)

Using Dickens’ original text (well, mostly!) David Mynne takes you on a journey that brings you a ‘cast of thousands’ in a skilful, one-man adaptation of this epic story. Be prepared to be scared and amazed and cry and laugh …a lot!

Some of his most memorable characters – the terrifying Magwitch; Joe Gargery, the kind and generous blacksmith; the eccentric Miss Havisham; the cold and beautiful Estella; Mr Jaggers the pompous lawyer and Pip’s wise friend, Herbert Pocket – are vividly brought to life in this anarchic and joyful telling of this glorious tale

Deft, daft, delightful… and definitely Dickens!

20/03/2018, 8.30pm – The Burston Crowd, Burston, Norfolk

21/03/2018, 7.30pm – The Lodge, Tuddenham, Norfolk

22/03/2018, 8.30pm – The Ancient Shepherds, Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire

Creative Arts East is an arts and community development charity that focuses on engaging rural communities across East Anglia with high-quality arts and culture. Our main activities are: a live touring scheme which enables volunteer promoting groups to house fantastic professional performances in their local venue; a community cinema scheme in which we support volunteer promoting groups to run their own community cinema; and a whole host of other participatory arts projects which engage different community groups in artistic activity, improve well-being and develop the voluntary sector. 

For further information about Creative Arts East go to:

Website: www.creativeartseast.co.uk

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