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Ahead of this year’s event, Holt Festival’s outgoing artistic director Charles Pugh looks back on his three years in charge

Holt festival’s artistic director, Charles Pugh. Picture by Rodney Smith

Holt festival’s artistic director, Charles Pugh. Picture by Rodney Smith

Copyright: Rodney Smith

It has been described as one of the most important cultural events in Norfolk, and Holt Festival’s outgoing artistic director said it had “great prospects” for the future.

North Norfolk’s award-winning, multi-arts, international festival, now in its ninth year, brings outstanding theatre, music, comedy, literature, children’s and visual art events to the picturesque Georgian town for eight days, from July 22 to 30.

Charles Pugh is coming to the end of his three-year engagement in charge, and said: “I have loved this gig. I was the right person for the job. It’s been three years of great entertainment in a lovely part of the world. But It’s necessary for me to move on and to do my own brand. I’m handing it on and there are great prospects.

“My own brand is Festival Estival, which I had to put on the backburner while I devoted myself to Holt.

“First and foremost, the festival is all about the people. I am going to miss the people. They are a very happy team and it’s a terrific audience. They are loyal and good-humoured, and it’s been a fun gig.

“I will also miss bringing my performers from other parts of Europe including Poland and Spain to the festival. They are used to coming to London, but have been amazed by the hospitality in north Norfolk, and by the people that have put them up.

“I will miss St Andrew’s church, one of the venues, where the acoustics are very good.

“I’ve also enjoyed the development of the children’s festival and the fringe events. I will definitely be keeping in touch and coming back to north Norfolk.”

He said he was given the job in the first place partly because of his work with Festival Estival.

“That work is for a similar demographic, middle-aged and middle-brow,” he added. “It’s a great age group to entertain. They are interested in talks about important things and in a wide range of music.”

His successor will be announced at the end of this year’s festival

The programme combines the best of national and international talents with some of the cream of our own Norfolk performers.

TV funnyman Jasper Carrott was forced to cancel his appearance, as his heart bypass operation now clashes with the closing event on July 30.

For details of the other events at this year’s Holt Festival log on to the following website: www.holtfestival.org

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