Entertainment options come thick and fast in Norwich. You can watch live music in one of the best small venues in the country, bust out a saxophone solo at the top open-mic night in the city, see a show in East Anglia’s best theatre, take to the stands to see The Canaries, or laugh until your belly aches at Norfolk’s leading comedy club. The trick is deciding where to begin.
Entertainment in Norwich
When it comes to live music, you’ll find Norwich Arts Centre in the midst of some of our favourite bars and restaurants in Norwich on St. Benedicts Street. It’s a converted 15th-century church, which can now hold up to 260 pilgrims of pop, rock, R&B and dance. In 2014, the Norwich Arts Centre was named Britain’s Best Small Venue by NME and the quality hasn’t dropped. Since 1980, when it moved to St. Swithin’s Church, it has hosted the likes of Oasis, The Stone Roses, Muse and Nirvana, as well as stars of the comedy circuit such as Noel Fielding, Jack Dee and Frank Skinner.
Any music fans staying at our Norwich Nelson City Centre hotel should check what’s on at The Waterfront, which is less than a 10-minute walk away. The ground floor’s main room can hold a capacity crowd of 700, meanwhile, upstairs there’s a smaller 200-capacity gig space too. Over the years, we’ve seen Radiohead, The Verve, Pulp, The Prodigy, Arctic Monkeys, Moby and the late, great Amy Winehouse perform at The Waterfront.
No matter what day of the week it is, you can also make your way to The Brickmakers, an award-winning pub for gigs. It hosts live music nights seven days a week, beginning with the ever popular Brickies Open Stage on Mondays, which allows for a wider range of performances than your typical open-mic night. You can take the stage for literally anything: samba, singing, spoken-word poetry, stand-up comedy, saxophone solos; the list goes on and on. All you need to do is book a 10-, 20-, 30- or 40-minute slot. Plus, if you perform, you’ll get a free DVD recording of your show. The rest of the week, The Brickmakers books all manner of bands and artists to perform for the people of Norwich. Check the website to see what’s on during your stay.
Norwich Arts Centre
Norwich Theatre Royal
If you’re interested in seeing a show, you’ll be happy to hear there’s a handful of great Norwich theatre options for you to choose from. The pick of the bunch is Norwich Theatre Royal. It’s the best place to see a show in all of East Anglia. It’s got 250 years of history, seats 1,300 audience members, hosts 400 performances a year, and welcomes more than 400,000 people. As you’ll see on our page dedicated to Norwich Theatre, there are also places like The Maddermarket Theatre, the Norwich Playhouse and Sewell Barn Theatre, where you’re right up close to the action, watching incendiary performances that engulf these smaller stages with every scene.
Looking for a laugh? A number of the entertainment venues we’ve already mentioned regularly book well-known comedy acts, particularly the Norwich Playhouse, which has built a reputation for rib-tickling. However, there’s only one bonafide comedy club worth mentioning – The Red Card Comedy Club, which has been taking over the Norfolk Lounge at Carrow Road for over a decade. Once a month, it brings four brilliant acts from the national circuit, with previous famous names having included Michael McIntyre, Reginald D Hunter, Micky Flanagan and Sarah Millican.
The main attraction of Norwich’s entertainment scene for sports fans will be Carrow Road, the home of Norwich City Football Club and one of the best stadiums in East Anglia. If you want to find out more about the football ground, including pubs in close proximity and the nearest of our Norwich hotels, then be sure to take a look at our page dedicated to the stadium.