Arts & Culture

From Museums, exhibitions and theatre. Things to beat boredom.

The Gossamer Thread Curious Cabaret

Here at Vintage Norwich we love a bit of cabaret, so last Friday we eagerly headed down to Norwich Arts Centre to take in the latest contribution to Norwich’s cabaret and burlesque scene, The Gossamer Thread Vaudeville Co and their Curious Cabaret.

The evening was hosted by the glorious Lili La Scala, who we were delighted to catch as we missed her perform at the NNF.


The Gossamer Thread co. consists of mind reader extraordinaire Alex McAleer and hoop artiste Daisy Black. As well as their individual acts they also performed together as Carny & The Tramp, partaking in an unusual romantic evening of razor blade swallowing and dancing on broken glass.


They had also put together a glittering array of acts, from comedy music, to belly dancing, contortionists and burlesque to keep us entertained at the sell out show.

This was the first time Gossamer Thread has put on the Cabaret at the Arts Centre, and we hope they’ll bring it back soon. Any night out that involves watching a man climb through a tennis racket is a must see for us.


After hours DJ Jazzlord kept the party going into the small hours in the bar, as the impeccably dressed crowd partied the night away. Keep an eye on our events calendar and we’ll be sure to let you know when Gossamer Thread returns. In the mean time  you can see more photos from The Gossamer Thread Curious Cabaret over on our Facebook page.



Local Artist Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Local Artist Simon Pritchard has been creating pop culture inspired Art for a long time. As a freelance artist he works on commission and has exhibited his work inspired by the stars of the Golden Era all over the world, as well as at the Best of Vintage Norwich Awards in March!

simonNow he needs your help to bring an amazing exhibition to Norwich, featuring Movie Posters for films that never were. Did you know, for instance, that Sinatra was originally intended to be Dirty Harry, or that Elvis lost out to Marlon Brando to play The Godfather? Simon Pritchard plans to bring these Movies to life, creating the movie posters that might have been, as well as movie posters for movies that never got made and movies from his own imagination.

The exhibition will feature 20 canvases and take place at The Forum in Norwich.

But there’s a catch…

He can’t make it happen without YOUR support.

If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, let me enlighten you! It’s a crowd funding website, where anyone can set up a project and ask for funding. The campaign runs for  certain number of days, and during that time backers can register using a credit card and pledge money to support a project and help them towards their goal. Most projects offer incentives at certain levels of funding, like free tickets and special gifts. No money is taken at the time of the pledge.

At the end of the project, if the target amount has been reached, then backers cards are charged and the money passed to the project. If the target amount isn’t reached, backers aren’t charged and the project gets nothing.

You can support Simon’s Kickstarter project, become a patron of the arts, and receive an invitation to a catered private viewing of the exhibition from just £1. That’s £1, and there’s catering, you can’t buy a sandwich for that!

If you’re a fan of Rock n Roll art work and want to see this amazing exhibition come to Norwich the head on over to the Kickstarter page and become a backer, even if it’s just £1.

At the time of writing Simon is 50% of the way towards his goal, with just 1 week left to go.


Vintage Norwich Loves: Cinema City

Throughout history Norwich has certainly not been short of cinemas, and today is no different. If you like your cinema experience to have a little something extra –  that not even a bucket sized cup of fizzy drink can give you, then perhaps it’s time you explored Cinema City.  Located on St. Andrews Street, it’s thought that the oldest surviving parts of the building date from the 14th Century, making a visit to this cinema a little different to more modern venues.


Music lovers should also keep an eye on this venue, with recent screenings including Morrissey in concert, which was watched by a packed screen and was thanked with applause and even a few standing ovations! Also shown recently was Scott Walker: 30th Century Man, which drew a much smaller audience, but wow, were we grateful to get to watch this amazing piece of film.

It’s fair to say that Cinema City is a firm favourite here at Vintage Norwich, not just because we love the variety of film and entertainment it offers, but it’s such a beautiful building, in fact the bar is set in what would have once been the Great Hall (be sure to look up at the ceiling once you’ve ordered your drink!)


It’s certainly a great place for food with the menus ranging from burger deals to fine dining. The partially covered courtyard makes eating alfresco  a nice option – even with the temperamental British weather, but head indoors and you’ll find the restaurant set in vaulted rooms, which provide a wonderful ambience when daylight fades and is replaced by candlelight and low lighting.


Members of Cinema City benefit from discounts on dining as well as cinema tickets, so if you fall in love with this place as much as we have, you might want to consider treating yourself to a membership.

Visit the Cinema City Website

Zelley’s Undercroft and the Amber Room

Vintage Norwich were lucky enough to get hold of some tickets for the pre booked events at this year’s Heritage Open Days. The pre booked events give lucky ticket holders access to what is usually closed to the public.

This year one of the tours was of the F.J Zelley Jewelers on St. Giles Street, which has been trading as a jewelry specialist since 1982.

Jewelers Shop Front

A seemingly small Victorian shop front opens up as a very large premises inside. Zelley’s is full to the brim with beautiful clocks; a number of which were manufactured in Norwich; antique jewelry, and an impressive display of amber.

20130913_112407We made our way through the shop and in to the back office. We then went down some rather steep stairs and suddenly we were there. A number of us squeezed into the pretty much untouched 15th Century undercroft. Used as medieval storage, things back then would have been safe and sound in such a chamber.


Steep StepsAfter snooping around and learning more about the two (yes two) underground chambers we headed back up to the shop floor. The building above ground is mostly 18th century, with alterations over the years meaning the building is much larger than it originally was, but no less impressive!


Upstairs we had a look around the Amber Room. Our lovely guide for the tour, Howard Zelley, is a trained gemologist and has a really impressive knowledge of his collection. We learnt about the different types of amber, and why amber was once so commonly found on the Norfolk coastline, but really you ought to try and book this for next year to learn all about it!


Amber MuseumIt really was fascinating stuff. Vintage Norwich love a good snoop around behind the scenes, and this snoop did not disappoint!

Vintage Norwich Spends a Night with the Green Faery…

Vintage Norwich was transported back to the Le Theatre de Decadence on Saturday for a night of fun and frivolity. Presented by the beautiful, Natalya Umanska.

How Decadent!

How Decadent!

The burlesque performances were charmingly tongue in cheek: with each performance offering its own individuality and nod to the different burlesque styles. Personally, fan dancing is one of my favourites and the dance in this performance did not disappoint. Just beautiful!

One act that went down particularly well was one rather suave juggler. The way he glided around the stage and seamlessly juggled and manoeuvred his juggling clubs was mesmerising. He had the audience ooing and aahhhing in unison. Very impressive.

We would very much like to know how Natalya survived being boxed up and pierced with wooden spears. She entered the cardboard box unscathed, and left the cardboard box unscathed- and somewhat unclothed! How Natalya?! How?! It must be something to do with the magical Green Faery.

The surprisingly small group of entertainers, including the international burlesque beauties Miss Betsy Rose and Trixee Sparkle, had the audience captivated and the compelling narrative of childbirth, changelings, and the Green Faery were the cherry on the top of the cake- the seam on the stockings some might say! From theatre, comedy, magic, and burlesque there was certainly something for everyone. Bravo from Vintage Norwich!

Keep your eye on Le Theatre De Decadence Facebook Page for details of their next show.