A programme of literature, art, theatre and music will get under-way at Gresham’s School in Holt this month.

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The eclectic line-up includes former poet laureate Andrew Motion, folk-rock band the Acoustic Strawbs and the musical Miss Saigon, performed entirely by pupils.

There will also be a series of events celebrating the centenary of the birth of composer and former Gresham’s school student Benjamin Britten.

The programme will begin next Thursday, when Gresham’s School Choral Society begins rehearsals for the performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem on March 10. There are no auditions and everybody is invited to take part. Rehearsals will be held every Thursday until the event from 8 to 9.30pm. There is a charge of £15 for joining the Choral Society.

The Youth Theatre Perth will travel all the way from Australia to perform River Dreaming by Jenny Davis on January 16 at 8pm. The company will take audiences through a kaleidoscope of events in the history of the Swan River Colony to tell a story filled with romance, comedy and colour.

The programme features a selection of special events, including concerts by visiting professional musicians. The Aronowitz Ensemble will give a concert of chamber music on February 8, classical musicians Batosz Woroch and Sam Armstrong will take to the stage on April 18 while saxophonist Anthony Brown and pianist Leo Nicholson will give a concert on June 4.

Director Tony Britten’s feature length drama and documentary ‘Benjamin Britten - Peace and Conflict’ will be screened on February 9. Mr Britten will also be discussing a newly published autobiography of Benjamin Britten with its author Paul Kildea during the event.

The front-line of the classic 1970s folk-rock band the Strawbs will be performing on February 22 as the Acoustic Strawbs, and Sir Andrew Motion, who was Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009, will be giving a talk on February 23.

Lin recording artist and jazz singer Claire Martin will be giving a concert on March 27, there will be a production of Miss Saigon from March 19 to 22 and the North Norfolk Chamber Opera will be presenting The Threepenny Opera from April 11 to 13.

There will also be exhibitions of students’ art and photography as well as performances by theatre studies and music students.

Most events will be held in the school’s Auden Theatre. For times and ticket prices, contact the box office on 01263 713444 or email boxoffice@greshams.com. Visit www.greshams.com/enterprises for the full programme and to see the full list of Britten centenary events.

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