Great Yarmouth Arts Festival
Ockhams Razor perform the acclaimed Tipping Point at SeaChange Arts Drill House – photo Mark Dawson Photography


FRI 8th TO SAT 17th JUNE 2018


Great Yarmouth Arts Festival launches its 2018 programme this week with an exciting mix of music, theatre, visual arts and street entertainment.

Now in its sixth year, this year’s festival begins with its community carnival on Saturday 9 June, which this year takes ‘circus’ as its theme. 2018 is the 250th anniversary of circus and Great Yarmouth and Norwich are jointly one of six ‘circus cities’ around the country, which will be the focal points of celebrations under the banner of Circus 250.

“We’re delighted to be celebrating circus as part of this year’s festival,” says Great Yarmouth Arts Festival’s Hugh Sturzaker. “It is an art form that has become so much a part of Great Yarmouth’s cultural offer, from the century old Hippodrome to more recent offerings from the Out There Festival.”

Festa Fiesta features circus street arts music and workshops Hocus Pocus Theatres Clown on the-Run – Photo JMA Photography

The carnival will feature a trio of life-sized artist-created elephants, giant banner flags and circus costumes as part of ‘The Circus Comes to Town’ a collaborative project with Norwich City Council, SeaChange Arts, Lost in Translation Circus and Norwich Arts Centre. Starting at 11am at the historic Hippodrome, the carnival will parade along the seafront and through the town to St. George’s Theatre where it will then launch Festa Fiesta, a continuation of the circus celebrations, and a day long Latin themed jamboree, produced by SeaChange Arts, across the town’s cultural quarter.

Festa Fiesta features music, workshops, street entertainment and food as well as a circus show, Tipping Point, from the acclaimed Ockham’s Razor, and a dance party at St George’s Theatre. Great Yarmouth Library will also host their annual Community Fair with workshops and activities throughout the afternoon.

Mallorcas Dinamo headline a night of music and Dance in the Festa Fiesta Dance Party – photo Dinamo

Festa Fiesta is part of two years support for Great Yarmouth Arts Festival by Look Sideways East, a cultural tourism initiative for Norfolk and Suffolk that will see the festival working alongside SeaChange Arts to strengthen and develop the programme and audiences for the festival.

“Being part of this regional initiative is exciting for the festival,” added Mr Sturzaker. “Our ambition is to build the festival over the coming years around the principals of excellent artistic programming and local participation, in all its forms. We want Great Yarmouth Arts Festival to become a significant part of the region’s offer.”

The Waveney Sinofnia perform a programme of Betthoven and Rossini at Yarmouth Minster as part of this years festival – photo Waveney Sinfonia

The festival programme continues over the following week and includes a vibrant programme of music including The Waveney Sinfonia at Great Yarmouth Minster on the evening of Saturday 9 June. Formed in 1978, the orchestra features some of the brightest young musicians from the area who will perform a programme of works by Rossini and Beethoven.

Based in Gorleston, the Chorus of St Cecelia bring a 50 strong choir on Friday 15 June with a programme of choral works by John Rutter, Vivaldi and traditional English folk songs.

St. George’s Theatre plays host to a number of shows as part of the festival including a visit from Ballet Central, the touring company of the Central School of Ballet. They perform mixed bill of the best in dance theatre on Friday 8 June, including pieces from Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.

Classic TV farce, ‘Allo ‘Allo gets a makeover for the stage by Sheringham Little Theatre on Thursday 14 June and there’s a poignant and fascinating exploration of gay history in Queers on Tuesday 12 and Tuesday 19 June.

Yarmouth Minster hosts another programme of exciting exhibitions from local artists – photo GYAF

Art in the Minster, Saturday 9 to Sunday 17 June, has become an established part of the festival programme, bringing together some outstanding work from local artists, photographers and writers.  There will also be an opportunity to catch works by some fine young talent as East Norfolk 6th Form students present work at Great Yarmouth Library from 5 to 15 June.

The fascinating history of the town can be uncovered in a Local History Fair at St George’s Theatre on Saturday 9 June and a number of guided walks. The town’s rich entertainment heritage will also be to the fore in another circus celebration, as some of Peter Jay’s huge collection of circus memorabilia will form a special trail around the town centre.

Great Yarmouth Arts Festival runs from Friday 8 to Saturday 17 June. For further information and the full programme of events at this year’s festival, visit


About Look Sideways:

Look Sideways – East is an ambitious collaborative tourism project.  It shines a spotlight on the region’s world class arts and culture offering, clarifying Norfolk and Suffolk’s position as a standard bearer for the UK’s regional arts and tempting cultural tourists, both from within the UK and from further afield, to Look Sideways – East.


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