Our festival brochure cover for 2014 was painted by Norfolk artist Rob Barnes. This remains one of the most popular cover images in our first 10 years. James Colman launched his project Paint Out Norwich with us…. Now in its 7th year, James and his team have developed our visual arts offer, where festival audiences enjoy the results of the Plain Air paintings at exhibitions taking place at the Hostry, as well as all over the county. The Norfolk Arts Awards gained more support with local businesses sponsoring awards, with more diverse nominees and winners receiving acknowledgment for their work in the arts. Our offer of festival commissions grew in number with Chamber Orchestra Anglia creating a classical concert entitled Echoes of Change. We also collaborated with The Writer’s Centre, The Ten Group and City College, in a young person’s platform event called Debut.
We initiated a stunning double bill of Jean Cocteau’s and Francis Poulenc’s words and music, which would return to the festival again in 2016 and 2018 to great acclaim. We staged our first Norfolk Authors In Profile event, in partnership with Jarrold, plus we began our Guest Speakers “In Conversation with” both of which have remained annual aspects to the festival. Total Ensemble supplied us with a piece of inclusive theatre entitled In Love and War, bringing many new young people to the festival, both in performance and audiences alike. Author/Actor/Composer David Banks retuned with a new piece of music, Elegy For the Great War. Hamilton Wilson penned his second play on the subject of dementia “Disappearing Friends” performed at the UEA. We staged our own homage to the Garrison Keillor music radio concerts in America with a wonderful line up of Norfolk musicians. And, our Central Production 2014, directed & designed by Peter Beck, was an outrageously grotesque restoration comedy, The Country Wife.
“An Ideal Festival Event” Eastern Daily Press
As part of Stash Kirkbride & Peter Beck’s appointment as Joint Creative Director’s of The Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich from 2014 – 2016, a new partnership was formed for the same period of time with Hansells Solicitors as Principal Sponsors for both the Hostry Festival and the Maddermarket Theatre. The former being a vibrant new Autumn Festival For Norfolk, and the latter being part of the much loved theatrical history of the city, dating back 100 years.