Bowjangles bring the ‘Spirit of the Edinburgh Fringe’ to Breckland

Earlier this year string-quartet Bowjangles won the ‘Spirit of the Fringe’ award at the Edinburgh Festival and we were absolutely thrilled to bring their performance of ‘Excalibow’ to village halls and community venues throughout the Breckland District last week.

‘Excalibow’ was an action-packed energetic performance, with audience participation, tales of monsters, ancient gods, historical figures and characters of pure fantasy. There were plenty of musical references for all to enjoy, from Abba to the Rolling Stones!

Across the week, the Silver Social saw their highest number of attendees to date and we were delighted to welcome back familiar faces and also to meet so many new people attending for the very first time.

The feedback from the audience was incredibly positive, some residents commenting on the fact that they had never seen a show like it before! Others mentioned how they loved the show, were entertained by the musicians’ talent and impressed by their ability to play instruments, sing and dance all at the same time!

The Silver Social would like to thank everyone who attended and also to thank Bowjangles for putting on such a fantastic show.


Making some noise with Joe & Carl

From 12-14th November, talented musicians Joe Mace & Carl Cole took to venues in Dereham, Harling, Watton, Attleborough and Swaffham with their ‘Music Making’ workshops.

Joe & Carl filled each venue with instruments, some familiar and some of which we’d never seen before! This was a fantastic opportunity to be experimental and playful. Led by Joe & Carl, we played solo, as a group and even had some sing-alongs.

These workshops gave an opportunity for all to get involved, regardless of experience and ability, to feel the rhythm and make some noise!

Thank you to Joe & Carl for their expertise and encouragement and to all the residents who attended.

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Music of our Ancestors with Anna Mudeka

We all thoroughly enjoyed a week of performances by wonderful Zimbabwean musician Anna Mudeka. During the performance of 'Music of our Ancestors,' Anna played traditional instruments such as the Mbira whilst seamlessly weaving story with song, bringing the experience of southern African culture to audiences across Breckland.

As an audience we clapped along to begin with, after some motivation from Anna we found our rhythm and even joined in with the singing!

It was also lovely to see the familiar faces of residents who had already taken part in Anna Mudeka’s workshops in October.

Thank you to Anna Mudeka and to everyone who attended!


Singing, Movement and African Drumming with Anna Mudeka

What a week we’ve had with the wonderful Anna Mudeka, and her Singing, Movement and African Drumming workshops in Breckland’s libraries.  Many of our venues have seen the highest number of people yet engaging with the Silver Social with the workshops attracting some of our youngest visitors yet, at less than 2 years old.  Participants used clapping, shakers and drums to create African beats that complimented the soulful singing of Anna and the participants.

Anna will be back with performances in Libraries across Breckland in November.  Tickets £5 – reserve yours now on our events page.

Autumn Silver Social events programme announced!

Internationally recognised artists, Edinburgh Fringe winners and vibrant local musical talent are at the heart of the new Silver Social programme of workshops and performances which is set tour Breckland this autumn.

Recent winners of the ‘Spirit of Edinburgh Fringe 2018’, Bowjangles - an all singing, dancing and comedy string quartet group, headline this pulsating new Autumn tour programme, which is set to visit multiple locations including Swaffham, Watton, East Harling, Dereham and Attleborough from October through to late November.

This highly anticipated programme starts with a series of soulful singing and African drumming workshops from the award winning Zimbabwean artist Anna Mudeka, who will be holding her free-to-attend workshops in Thetford Library on October 1, followed by workshops in Dereham and Swaffham on October 2, then Attleborough and Watton on October 3.  The wonderfully powerful singer will then return later in November for a series of highly acclaimed performances across Breckland, with tickets just £5.

Celebrated local musicians Joe Mace and Carl Cole will also be hosting a series for free creative music making workshops across Breckland in mid-November, which promises to offer a fun, relaxed and welcoming environment, but with also lots of cake and tea!  The workshops, which are free to attend, will be hosted in East Harling, Swaffham, Watton and Attleborough.

Bowjangles, the energetic string quartet, fresh from presenting their 2018 Edinburgh Festival award winning show, complete the Silver Social Autumn programme with ‘Excalibow’, a rollercoaster performance, full of music, comedy and with almost every musical genre you could imagine, including Abba! This wonderful show starts its Breckland tour on November 26th at Attleborough Methodist Church at 2p.m, then visits Swaffham (November 27th) Dereham (November 20th), East Harling (November 20th) and concludes at Watton Christian Community Church Centre on Friday 30th November at 2 p.m.

Visit our events page for more details on each of the activities, to reserve your tickets and arrange transport if needed.

Martin Figura: Anything but a Catastrophe

Martin Figura returned to Breckland with a tour of his performance Doctor Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine, in which he contemplated love, loss & when to let go. 

Poetry lovers were enthralled with Martin's mesmerising performances that showcased his talent which audiences appreciated. 

Martin told the story of his adulthood, using sound, images, poetry, machinery and the moon to navigate through marriage, divorce, a father/son road trip and raising a headstrong daughter with Down’s Syndrome.

A Little Love is a Big Hit

Breckland audiences loved Spiltmilk Dance's show of fairytale romances, full-on obsessions, awkward break-ups and magnificent everyday acts of affection combine in a heart-warming, heart-breaking, and at times completely absurd cabaret 

Spiltmilk toured the Silver Social's community venue circuit in Ashill, Harling, Mattishall, Necton and Shipdham. 

A truly unique show which was something between a sketch show, a rom com, and a glitter bomb, Spiltmilk Dance had audiences singing, dancing and joining in the love revolution!

Silver Social initiative picks up Quality Mark for helping to combat loneliness

Breckland Council's Silver Social initiative has scooped a prestigious Quality Mark for helping to tackle loneliness.

The scheme was one of fifteen awarded the status today (27 July) as part of Norfolk County Council's In Good Company campaign. The announcement coincides with the inaugural Norfolk Day event.

Silver Social is run by the council and is funded by National Lottery Arts Council strategic touring fund. The programme is running over three years and has been engaging older residents in arts based activities across the district, in an effort to tackle loneliness and isolation.  

The first honorary quality marks were also awarded to the Eastern Daily Press and Radio Norfolk, for their consistent support of the county council's campaign to ensure that no one spends a lonely day in Norfolk if they don't want to.

Announcing the list, county council leader Councillor Andrew Proctor said: "Norfolk Day is all about celebrating the fantastic community spirit that exists in our county - so it's a great day to showcase the amazing work local groups are doing to help reduce loneliness and social isolation.

"Together, they help hundreds of people to stay connected with friends, family and services in their local areas. For some, they may provide the only social contact isolated people have. 

"People who are lonely can suffer poor health, come to rely on public services sooner and lose their independence more quickly. So when it comes to the health and wellbeing of our residents, the work of these organisations is vital and they deserve recognition with these Quality Marks."


 Dr. Wendy Thompson, Managing Director of Norfolk County Council presenting the In Good Company Quality Mark Award

Dr. Wendy Thompson, Managing Director of Norfolk County Council presenting the In Good Company Quality Mark Award

Spread The Love

Book your tickets for Silver Social's upcoming tour of The Little Love Cabaret, performing in Breckland villages 2nd - 6th July. 

"Somewhere between a sketch show, rom-com & glitter bomb! Join us for an all singing, all dancing afternoon of joy."

Tickets are only £5, payable on the door but can be reserved in advance (see below) 

Free local transport is also available to those without access to a car or public transport, please get in touch below for assistance. 

All performances 2pm - 3:30pm

Monday 2nd July at Ashill Community Centre

Tuesday 3rd July at Harling Old School Hall

Wednesday 4th July at Shipdham All Saints Church

Thursday 5th July at Mattishall Church Rooms

Friday 6th July at Necton Community Centre

Name *

Ministry Bans Frivolous Biscuits

Audiences in Breckland have been delighted by the Ministry of Biscuits, a tongue in cheek musical comedy set in a 1984-esque world of repressed biscuits. Performed by The Foundry Group, the  show toured the district's libraries for a one off week of matinees in Watton, Dereham, Attleborough, Thetford and Swaffham. 

The hilarious script, catchy songs and array of costumes, captivated audiences into the story of Cecil Hobson, a junior biscuit designer who succumbs to moral corruption and dabbles in creating a decadent triple chocolate ginger nut cream surprise...


 The Foundry Group performing  Ministry of Biscuits

The Foundry Group performing Ministry of Biscuits

Ministry of Biscuits is the first in a series of live performances happening across Breckland this summer as part of Silver Social. Up next is The Little Love Cabaret by Spiltmilk Dance, performing in villages 2nd - 6th July. Full details here