Shake off the lockdown blues with The Garage this Easter, with a range of online activities for the kids and the start of its summer term of classes.

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Meet the Easter Bunny, hunt for eggs, sing, dance and more at Easter Storytime, for ages 1-5, 10am-10.45am, 2 April.

Play games and dance at Let’s Dance Together, for ages two upwards, . It’s a great way for multiple households to get together and get creative. 10am-10.45am, 5 April

Have an amazing adventure with spring chicks, Easter bunnies and leaping lambs at My First Dance: Spring Special, for ages two-five, 10am-10.45am, 7 April.

Our summer term of classes begins online on 19 April. From fitness and dance to music and theatre, we really do have something for everyone, of any age. We are planning to open the building from 7 June and can’t wait to see everybody face-to-face again.

You can book for the Easter activities and our usual classes at thegarage.org.uk/classes

The Garage is excited to reveal the line-up for its first ever GarageFest, featuring artists who have taught or attended the Norwich performing arts centre.

The event will be live-streamed via The Garage’s Facebook from 2.30pm-5.30pm, Saturday 20 March.

Organised by The Garage’s Venue Services Coordinator Amelia Stephanides, it’s being staged in aid of the Chair’s Bursary Fund campaign. The money raised will help thousands of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and challenging circumstances take classes or courses at The Garage or its sister venue The Workshop in King’s Lynn.

Foolhardy Circus Arts have a 35-year history of producing comedy and circus-based routines with slick slapstick, polished skits, tons of circus skills and a sprinkling of anarchy.

Singer-songwriter Finn Doherty attended The Garage’s Musicians Development Programme from 2014-2017 and was later appointed one of our patrons. He made a name for himself Norwich’s music scene with various DIY releases in 2017-2018. He is set to launch new music later this year. 

Red Wine Talk are an alternative indie rock band from Norwich with powerful vocals, meaningful lyrics, rocking drums and the odd saxophone solo.

Jora the Fortuneteller are a four-piece alt-rock band based across East Anglia. Currently taking part in The Garage’s unsigned course, Jora have been crafting a whole new sound while in lockdown and are ready to explode into 2021! 

Headliner Millie Manders – of Millie Manders and The Shutup fame – is known for her electric live shows. The music press called her cross-genre punk “high-octane, fierce, bursting with attitude and almost obnoxiously addictive”. She also mentors The Garage’s Unsigned participants.

The Chair’s Bursary Fund was launched in honour of Maggie Wheeler, who recently retired from The Garage Trust’s board of trustees after seven years at the helm.

Adam Taylor, the trust’s executive director, said: “Our growth is a direct result of this incredible woman’s time, dedication, hard work and support. We can’t think of a better way to honour Maggie’s legacy than continuing to mentor and support young people to change their lives through the performing arts and these bursaries.”

Full details about the Chair’s Bursary Fund can be found here http://ow.ly/KN9B30rAJ52 

Christmas shows at The Garage in Norwich and The Workshop in King’s Lynn

Little Red Riding Hood by Andi Sapey

The Garage in Norwich and The Workshop in King’s Lynn will reteam with Norwich-based All-In Productions for two new Covid-19 secure My First shows for ages seven and under this Christmas.

My First Panto: Goldilocks and The Three Bears runs 27 November 2020 to 10 January 2021 at The Garage in Chapel Field North. My First Panto: Cinderella Rocks runs 16 December 2020 to 3 January 2021 at The Workshop in New Conduit Street.

The decision follows the success of The Garage and All-In Productions’ Covid-19 secure production of My First Show: Little Bo Peep and Her Missing Sheep which was part of the recent INTERLUDE festival in Norwich’s Chapelfield Gardens.

Adam Taylor, The Garage’s executive director and head of centre, said all venues and All-In Productions are applying everything learnt from Bo Peep to the Christmas shows. Both will feel different from pre-Covid productions while still being full of the interactive family fun the My First series is known for.

“There’ll be smaller audiences, two-metre distancing, face masks where appropriate. At the moment the shows will be end on. But this is a process, not a destination. When we made Bo Peep in August, the rules around singing changed. So we will be focusing on additional guidance over the coming months and going above and beyond to make sure our audiences feel safe and comfortable while still having fun.” 

My First Panto: Goldilocks and The Three Bears invites you to head out to the Wild West where Mummy Bear, Daddy Bear and Baby Bear live quite happily. Life is sweeter than an enormous jar of honey. But a mischievous wind is blowing down the prairie and with it the famous bandit Goldilocks, who causes havoc while they are at Old Man Rogers’ annual rodeo. What will she eat? What will she break? Where will she sleep? Most importantly – who will the pig wrestle? Sing, dance and play along with Goldilocks and the Bears in the only pantomime in Norwich that isn’t too hot, isn’t too cold but is just right. Tickets are on sale now from https://thegarage.org.uk/shows/my-first-panto-goldilocks-and-the-three-bears/ Your carriage awaits for My First Panto: Cinderella Rocks. Poor Cinders dreams of being a rock star but instead she must clean and cook for her ugly sister. Until then she just plays her guitar in the cellar to an audience of mice. Her life is turned upside down by Velcro, her fairy godmother in training, who joins Cinderella’s band and helps her on her way to play the music at the royal party with just a little bit of magic sparkle. But Cinderella will have to show the world how amazing she is quickly, as the magic will run out at midnight Tickets are on sale now at https://theworkshopkl.ticketsolve.com/shows/1173605113/events/428302245

Rapunzel by Andi Sapey

The Garage in Norwich is going coconuts over its latest co-production with All-In Productions with the chance to win a family ticket.

My First Play: After The Storm, A Retelling of The Tempest is set on a desert island. The Chapel Field North venue has hidden 10 cartoon coconuts around the city for its shipwrecked audiences to find.

The performing arts hub will be posting handy hints on its Instagram account over the next few days. Find six of the 10 to be in with a chance of winning a family ticket to our summer show My First Circus: Lessons of The Jungle Book.

The competition runs from Friday 6 March to Friday 20 March.

When you find six coconuts, take a picture of each. Using the hashtags #letsgococonuts or #myfirstplay post the photos on Instagram and be sure to tag @thegaragenorwich.

Following the success of My First Play: A Midsummer Night’s Nap, The Garage is setting sail on another Shakespearean journey. The crew of a sunken ship find themselves on a magical desert island. Also stranded there is the wizard Prospero and his daughter Ariel. Can the magical creature Ariel help get everybody home? 

A new interactive, musical play for ages up to seven and their families, it shows the importance of working together. It runs Wednesday 25 March to Thursday 9 April, with performances at 10.15AM, 1.15PM and 3.15PM most days. There are also BSL interpreted, audio-described and relaxed performances.

It lasts 50-60 minutes depending on how much everyone plays. Tickets are £12.50 adult/£7.50 child, under ones go free.

Visit http://www.thegarage.org.uk for more details or to book.

Buy your tickets to My First Circus: Lessons of The Jungle Book and My First Panto: Goldilocks and the Three Bears and get your tickets for My First Play: After The Storm, A Retelling of The Tempest for free. See website for terms and conditions.

The Marxist In Heaven at The Garage: The Review.

Directed by Daniel Burgess The Marxist In Heaven is a fun, thought-provoking play that does exactly what it says on the label, performed by a dedicated and talented cast. This play is exactly what community theatre is created for the range of emotions displayed by the cast was varied and convincing. The Garage is an intimate setting, so the need for conviction in the acting is essential in this performance, the cast were excellent, and timing was flawless. A huge well done to all involved, fun was injected throughout the play with the 30 sec disco dance scenes.

The Play tells the story of what happens when Marxist Val is admitted to Heaven and challenges the hierarchy system asking all the right questions and challenges the status quo and championing equality.

The cleverness of The Marxist In Heaven is the way the stories of the supporting characters are intertwined into the overall plot to give the play its powerful thought-provoking effect. The youth cast further enhance this effect with their on-point delivery of emotion during the performance.

The Garage is Norwich’s performing arts centre conveniently situated on Chapel Field North. This community hub provides the perfect setting for The Marxist In Heaven as the strong sense of community, enhances not only the show but also the centre there is a café where you can wait pre-show while enjoying a drink or snack, and the announcement for the start of the show can be clearly heard from here.

The play  is both interesting and light and delivered in a manner that encourages warmth, compassion and teamwork.

For information on upcoming shows please see: http://www.thegarage.org.uk/

My First Play: After The Storm – A Retelling of The Tempest

The ship we were travelling on has sunk. As the storm fades and the rain stops falling, we find ourselves on a magical desert island. While beautiful, it’s not home. Also trapped on the island are the magician Prospero and his daughter Miranda. Can the magical creature Ariel help us all find our way home?

Some fan favourite My First faces will join us as we set sail on another Shakespearean journey – My First Play: After The Storm, A Retelling of The Tempest.

Audiences will remember Emily Panes, playing Miranda, from last year’s My First Panto: Rapunzel. Alex Tosh, playing her father, the wizard Prospero, appeared in our debut My First Play: A Midsummer Night’s Nap.

Jack Blakey, playing Ferdinand, was in My First Panto: Jack and The Beansprout and My First Circus: The Littlest Mermaid. They’ll be joined by Norfolk actress Joanna Brown, playing Ariel, who was in the Norwich production of My First Panto: Little Red Riding Hood.

The interactive musical adventure for ages up to seven and their families is our latest co-production with Norwich-based theatre company All-In Productions and is full of singing, dance and play.

Writer and director Daniel Burgess said: “It’s amazing to welcome back some of the My First family. Emily, Alex, Jack and Joanna were big hits with audiences. They get what the My First shows are about and really know how to make them fun for all ages. I can’t think of anyone better to be stranded on a desert island with for two weeks. We’re going to have a great time.”    

This is an absolutely magical way to introduce children to theatre… It took only minutes after we left The Garage for Erin to ask if we could go back and see something else
there again soon.”

Me, Him, The Dog and a Baby on My First Play: A Midsummer Night’s Nap

“It was so lovely to see children do what children do without anyone batting an eyelid – shout out, dance at will, join in, not join in – the show is theirs”

Norwich Mumbler on My First Circus: The Littlest Mermaid

“Fairytale fabulous and a magical treat for tinies, this was my first My First Panto.
Fun, funny, engaging, immersive, telling a story in such way that those watching are part of
it; and full of joy it’s wonderfully entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny for grown-ups. 
My three-year-old granddaughter adored it”

Rowan Mantell, EDP / Norwich Evening News on My First Panto: Rapunzel

Cast bios

Emily Panes: Emily studied at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Actor Musicianship. Her credits include The Wonderful Discovery of Witches (UK tour), The Art of Skipping (Kings Head Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe), Romy and Julian (Vienna’s English Theatre), The Dance Hall (Bloomsbury Theatre) and The Talk (Rich Mix). As a voiceover artist, she works for clients such as O2, Three and Deloitte and recently played violin on the debut album of Northern Souvenirs.

Alex Tosh: Alex trained at Rose Bruford and graduated in 2012 with a first-class degree in Actor-Musicianship. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, specialising in the saxophone. He’s appeared in Stick Man Live (UK Tour), Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (UK Tour) and Sunny Afternoon (West End).

Jack Blakey: Jack studied at Rose Bruford College, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Actor-Musicianship. His credits while at Rose Bruford include Island Song, The Seagull, Macbeth and The Cherry Orchard. His professional theatre credits include: Frankenstein, The Merchant of Venice, Feet First and Mark And The Marked (Box Clever Theatre). Other work includes playing double bass in The Cabaret Farce (Edinburgh Fringe). When he’s not acting, Jack plays drums for Zoe West & The Hanging Baskets.

Joanna Brown: Joanna graduated from Rose Bruford Drama School as an Actor-Musician. Her theatre work has included The Scarecrow’s Wedding (Scamp Theatre, UK Tour), Alice In Wonderland (Derby Theatre), Gatsby (Union Theatre, Southwark), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre In The Forest and Red Rose Chain), The Princess and The Pea (Tutti Frutti). While studying she played Rapunzel in Into The Woods, Betty Parris in The Crucible and Princess of France in Love’s Labour’s Lost.

About All-In Productions

Established in 2014 All-In Productions aims to delight, challenge, move and amaze audiences while making the experience accessible as possible to audiences who wouldn’t normally engage in the arts. For more information visit www.all-inproductions.co.uk. Follow them on Facebook @allinproductionsuk, Twitter @_allinprods and Instagram @allin.productions

About The Garage

The Garage is a centre for performing arts located in Norwich which supports the creative journeys of participants, audiences and artists. It is home to The Garage Trust, a registered charity providing support and development opportunities for people from all backgrounds. For more information visit http://www.thegarage.org.uk The Garage is a registered charity No:1098975 and registered company No:4510240. Follow them on Facebook @garage.norwich, Twitter @_thegarage and Instagram @TheGarageNorwich

Performances: Wednesday 25 March – Thursday 9 April, 10.15AM, 1.15PM and 3.15PM

Relaxed performances Sunday 29 March, 10.15AM and Thursday 2 April, 1.15PM

BSL interpreted performances Thursday 26 March, 10.15AM; Saturday 28 March, 1.15PM and Wednesday 8 April, 3.15PM

Audio-described performance Saturday 28 March, 10.15 AM

Running time: 60 minutes                                       Tickets: £12.50 adults / £7.50 children /
                                                                         under 1s go free

Special offer

Buy your tickets to My First Circus: Lessons of The Jungle Book and My First Panto: Goldilocks and The Three Bears and get your tickets for My First Play: After The Storm, A Retelling of The Tempest for free! Offer automatically applied at purchase. 

To book

Call the box office on 01603 283382 or visit www.thegarage.org.uk