World-renowned broadcasters, film stars, circus performers and musicians will all be putting in an appearance at an arts festival extravaganza taking place this coming week in north Norfolk.

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This year’s Holt Festival runs from July 19–27. It is an award winning annual feast of the arts taking place in the charming North Norfolk Georgian country town in the last week of July.

Since its inception in 2009 the festival has featured an international array of music, drama, visual art, literature dance, comedy, cinema, free street entertainment, kids shows and workshops, taking over the whole town bringing the streets and venues alive with activity.

There are also lots of free events for children and families, an internationally acclaimed Art Prize and outdoor events that bring a blaze of colour and activity to the streets of the town.

Highlights this year include virtuoso singer/songwriter/pianist Joe Stilgoe, The Orchestra of the Swan, art critic and raconteur Brian Sewell and talks with acclaimed historian David Starkey.

Click here for a full programme of Holt Festival events

Comedian, writer and presenter Stephen Fry will also be introducing a rare charity performance by actor John Hurt at this year’s Holt Festival. The film star will be starring in a live show of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, by Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour, at the Auden Theatre on Friday July 25.

The Holt Festival Art Prize 2014 is open to artists everywhere and in the past two years has attracted entries from as far afield as Scotland and Cornwall.

A shortlist of 20-30 works that have already been selected will be exhibited at the Nicholson Gallery, Holt from July 20-27 - part of the Holt Festival Art Trail that also takes in 13 other galleries and exhibition spaces around the town. The winner will be announced at a private view on Saturday, July 19.

Delaval Astley, director of Holt Festival, said: “It is an amazingly strong line up and builds on the success from previous years and build on the festival’s reputation as a first rate arts festival for everyone.”

HIGHLIGHTS:The Bad Shepherds and Meow Meow Harmony.

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