What's On in May

24 April 2023

What’s On in May

May is a great month for Norwich and the rest of Norfolk. The sun is coming out that much more as spring really settles in, there’s plenty on to enjoy throughout the month, and we have three bank holidays to enjoy… What more could you ask for? Read on for our round up of what’s on this May! 

A Coronation Fit for a King and Three Bank Holidays 

Very few of us will have experienced a coronation in our lifetime, so it’s worth getting excited about. Across the country, celebrations will be taking place as we officially welcome a new King to The Throne, including in our very own City of Stories.  

If you’re strapped for ideas, why not take part in the national Coronation Big Lunch? Whether joining an organised community meal or hosting a smaller meal with friends and family in your very own home, you can join millions across the country in this massive event. It’s guaranteed fun, and who doesn’t love a reason to enjoy some good food and drink? 

Fancy afternoon tea? The Maids Head Hotel is offering a Coronation afternoon tea between Friday, May 5 and Sunday, May 7 between 12pm and 4pm. Costing £30 per person, it comes with a glass of prosecco included!  

A wide range of other local venues are offering afternoon tea too, such as The Britons Arms on Elm Hill (£14.99 for one, £28 for two, add a glass of Prosecco £5.50), The Ivy Brasserie in Norwich, Park Farm Hotel (enjoy in their new Georgian Dining Room, from £25 for one with children 10 years and under £12.50) and The Norfolk Mead (£20 for one). So many choices! 

Norfolk & Norwich Festival May is festival month! 

The much-loved Norfolk & Norwich Festival – the biggest international arts festival in the East of England – returns for its 251st year in May. Yes, you read that correctly, the Festival has been going for over 250 years!  

Between Friday, May 12 – Sunday, May 28, you’ll find a massive programme of music, performance, visual arts, song, dance, and plenty of other surprises. The Festival is designed with inclusivity in mind, so there are many free and low-cost events and tickets at just £7.50 for Under-26s.  

Make the most of the Welcome Weekend in Norwich over Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14, experience free live performances across the city including theatre, dance, circus and comedy plus so much more. Grab a takeaway from Norwich Market and head to a performance or, book somewhere nice for lunch in between shows.

One thing you shouldn’t miss is ‘Gorilla Circus’ in Chapelfield Gardens on the Saturday night with aerial circus featuring dance trapeze, wire walking, hair hanging, and more. Just turn up. This is the Festival at it’s best!

The Norwich & Norfolk Festival programme is diverse and takes place in venues across the county but one of the best places to be is in Norwich at the Adnams Spiegeltent for any of the amazing acts. Note it’s one-of-a-kind part performance-lecture of Vincent Gambini’s ‘This is not a Magic Show’ (Wednesday, May 17, £7.50 – £16). And Le Coup – a ragtag troupe of travelling misfits who compete with amazing circus skills. Expect fire breathing, sword swallowing, stunning aerial acts, tap dancing, and, unsurprisingly, plenty of acrobatics! See them from Wednesday, May 17 – Sunday, May 28. Book your tickets right now! But there’s loads more too.

There’s also the City of Literature weekend delivered in partnership with the National Centre for Writing. A festival of words and ideas in England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. ‘The Power of Conversation’ is this year’s theme. Join in for book launches, performances, panel discussions and creative writing workshops. We particularly like the sound of Page Against the Machine taking place in Plantation Garden (£2 donation on entry), Saturday 27 May, 1pm. This year going global – take a book, switch off your phone and read in the peaceful surrounds of this beautiful green space in the heart of Norwich whilst simultaneous events take place in UNESCO Cities of Literature across the world.

Whatever you do, you’re sure to enjoy your time with the Festival this year. View their full programme here. 

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival has something for everyone! (Image from previous festival)

Titanic the Musical Hits the Stage 

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, ‘Titanic the Musical’ hits the Norwich Theatre Royal stage for a six-show run this May. In this gripping musical, you can follow real people aboard the famous ship, focusing on their hopes, dreams, and stories as the ship sank. 

Titanic the Musical’s opening night is on the first bank holiday of May (Monday, May 1), so it’s the perfect excuse to get out for the evening and enjoy this highly rated piece of theatre. Who doesn’t love a musical? Tickets are available from £10 – £53.50. Find out more here. 

Norwich Theatre Royal Auditorium

Norwich Theatre Royal Auditorium

Norwich Vegan Parkfest 

After a hugely successful first event in 2022, Norwich Vegan Parkfest is taking over Chapelfield Gardens again this May (Sunday, May 7)! Whether you’re considering a vegan/ green lifestyle and want to know more, a full-fledged vegan, or just someone who wants to expand their tastes and knowledge, this is a great day to be a part of. 

A wide-range of vegan street food vendors, artisan bakers, craft brewers, ethical jewellers, small-batch soapers, local artists, zero-waste champions, community groups, and much more will all be in attendance. Be sure to pop down and get chatting, you never know what you might discover! 

Credit ETT Photography

Chapelfield Garden will be turned into Vegan Parkfest this May!