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Norfolk and Norwich Festival reveals 2011 highlights
Chouf Ouchouf
Chouf Ouchouf will bring circus-style acrobatics to the Theatre Royal

Two very different spectacles showcasing the talents of hundreds of people are among the highlights of next year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Organisers have just revealed some of the acts set to attract audiences to UK's fourth biggest city arts festival.

Details of a theatrical dinner party based on Alice in Wonderland with more than 250 waiters and a saxophone show by 200 musicians have also been shared.

The annual arts festival will run from 6 to 21 May.

The full programme will be announced at the start of March, but tickets for the handful of events already revealed will go on sale on 29 November 2010.

Shows already under the spotlight include the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra, the Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet, stunning Portuguese singer Mariza and Chouf Ouchouf's fusion of Moroccan acrobatics, circus and dance.

A revolving stage for Argentine director Mariano Pensotti's play The Past is a Grotesque Animal looks set to be a festival first.

Festival executive producer Matt Burman is also looking forward to Dining with Alice, which will take place at Elsing Hall, near Dereham.

"There will be 256 waiters in the show so each member of the audience will have their own waiter and it's structured around a four-course meal," he said.

Saxophonist search

Andy Sheppard's Sax Massive
The search is now on to find 200 saxophonists to perform at the festival

Andy Sheppard's Saxophone Massive is another show that's looking to bring together around 200 volunteers to join professional musicians at an outdoor event to mark the festival's launch.

"There are 200 saxophonists to recruit from around the region," said Matt.

"As long as you can play a note we want you, but equally we want really experienced players coming in and joining us as well," he added.

Last year's festival achieved its best audience of around 278,000 people, but things could be more challenging in 2011 due to arts funding cuts.

"Despite the cuts we're going to come back bigger and better than ever before," said Matt.

More changes are also in the pipeline when artistic director Jonathan Holloway leaves in January 2011 for the Perth International Arts Festival. His successor is due to be announced next month.

• Those interested in taking part in Andy Sheppard's show should e-mail SaxMassive .




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