Raggle Taggle Arts theatre company at Norwich station provide curtain raiser to 2024 Norfolk & Norwich Festival

Published on: Tuesday, 21 May 2024
Last updated: Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Greater Anglia continues long-standing sponsorship of key regional arts event

Mo and the Red Ribbon

Passengers at Norwich station this Thursday morning (9 May), will see performers from Raggle Taggle Arts, a company specialising in outdoor music and theatre, who are appearing at this year’s Norfolk & Norwich Festival, performing a short excerpt from their show as a curtain raiser to this year's major arts event, which begins on Friday 10 May. In addition to providing an unusual station performance, the occasion also marks the key partnership between Greater Anglia and the Festival. Greater Anglia is the Travel Partner for the major regional arts event, extending a relationship between the Festival and the region's train operator which now stretches back an impressive 34 years to 1990.

Over that time, the support of the local train operator has helped the Festival expand from a medium size classical music festival to an internationally recognised arts festival, that is one of the four biggest in the UK – an annual celebration that includes jazz, theatre, dance, outdoor events, visual arts and classical music. At the station from 09.15 on Thursday, Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia and the Festival's Director, Daniel Brine will briefly outline the benefits of the partnership, as well as the highlights of this year's Festival.

Commenting on the partnership between Greater Anglia and the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia said:

"Greater Anglia is delighted to be the Travel Partner for the 2024 Norfolk & Norwich Festival, extending a highly successful relationship between the Festival and the region's railways which now extends back 34 years. We’re also pleased to be holding a curtain raiser event for the Festival at the station again. We have been actively helping to promote the Festival, providing tickets for artists and taking a proactive role in this year's event, extending our partnership from our first links as Greater Anglia, which began with the start of our first franchise term here in East Anglia in 2012.

“Our partnership helps the Festival to go from strength to strength, with a fantastic annual celebration which is fun for audiences and the local community, whilst at the same time supporting the local economy and building Norfolk and Norwich’s reputation. We hope that this year's Festival is a great success and that many people will travel to Festival events by train. With new, high quality, comfortable and reliable trains on all our routes across the region, rail travel is an ideal way to make the trip into Norwich."

The partnership between the Festival and the railways, which began in 1990 with a locomotive train naming, has included a special train livery, previous "curtain raiser" performances at the station, community events, employee involvement in the Festival, promotion and marketing of the Festival to a wider audience, special rail travel offers, train tickets for artists, opportunities for corporate hospitality and building wider stakeholder links.

With direct train services to Norwich from London, Ipswich, Cambridge, Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, festival-goers from across the region can take the train to Festival events. Late night trains operate on Mondays to Saturdays back from Norwich to Cambridge (at 22.40), Lowestoft (at 22.40), Sheringham (at 22.45 - or 23.05 on Fridays and Saturdays), Great Yarmouth (at 23.00) and Ipswich (at 23.05), so the Festival and Greater Anglia are hoping that even more people will use the train to come into Norwich and enjoy this year’s 17 day programme of music, song, dance and performance