After the resounding success of 2016 we knew we had to come up with an equally unique Central Production for 2017, and we did…Jean Cocteau’s French classic THE EAGLE HAS TWO HEADS, not seen in Norfolk since 1947. With Tracey Catchpole, one of county’s most accomplished and admired actresses joining us for the first time as the Queen, and Adam Edwards as her romantic interest, we knew we’d be able to stage this highly challenging play. For the first time audiences enjoyed In The Round, Arena Style seating, and we commissioned an original music score by celebrated celloist Ivan McCreedy, who performed on stage each night with our cast of actors.
“I was honoured to have been directed by the creative spirit Stash Kirkbride in such a wonderful piece of melodrama. Playing the Queen was a gift of a part and one I feel will live with me for a long time. It was a privilege to have worked alongside such a talented team” Tracey Catchpole.
Stash first produced this remarkable play in 1994 at Sadlers Wells Theatre in London, acting opposite RSC actress Lisa Harrow, directed by Susannah York. Its thanks to this fully independent festival such avant-garde stories can be staged.
Other festival 2017 highlights included:
Oscar winning actress and new festival patron, HAYLEY MILLS, In Conversation with the Festival’s Artistic Director, about her hugely successful career in ﬁlm. Historian DAVID STARKEY was our guest speaker. Stuff Of Dreams Theatre Company performed their newly written play Anglian Mist. Mary Ward MBE and Jo Collins MBE, founders of Chickenshed Theatre Company presented their special tribute to Julian of Norwich. Norfolk Music Hub worked with us on a concert showcasing young classical musicians from across the county, with guest of honour Julian Lloyd Webber. BBC Radio Norfolk presented a 4 hour Festival Special show, LIVE from the Hostry building, as well as Inspiring Females In The Arts debate, LIVE from Norwich High School for Girls. To conclude 2017, we staged a concert featuring original songs from festival favourite Hayley Moyses and Friends, (with guest appearances from London Street singers Felix Simpson and Bill Downs).