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Holt festival announces Lady Hurt, wife of Sir John, as new artistic director

PUBLISHED: 22:55 07 June 2018 | UPDATED: 22:55 07 June 2018

Anwen Lady Hurt has been announced as the new artistic director of the Holt Festival Picture: Andi Sapey

Anwen Lady Hurt has been announced as the new artistic director of the Holt Festival Picture: Andi Sapey

AndiSapeyCopywrite2014

The Holt Festival has announced that the wife of legendary actor Sir John Hurt, Anwen, Lady Hurt, will be their new permanent Artistic Director from 2019 onwards.

Chancellor, John Hurt, at the 170th anniversary celebrations of the Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Denise BradleyChancellor, John Hurt, at the 170th anniversary celebrations of the Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Denise Bradley

Lady Hurt has been involved in the festival in various guises since it was founded in 2009, but will take the reigns for the 2019 festival and beyond.

The announcement that she will get more involved in the running of the festival will come as little surprise to those who have seen her passion for the Norfolk theatrical scene in recent years.

Lady Hurt is pro-chancellor of Norwich University, director of the board of Cinema City, a trustee of Sheringham Little Theatre and a Patron of the Holt Youth Project - having lived in Norfolk for ten years.

Lady Hurt said: “I am delighted to be appointed artistic director of the Holt Festival.”

She said: “I have been involved with the Holt Festival in different guises since its inception and have watched it grow over the last ten years under the guidance of Rhu (Bruce Lockheart) and Tony (Britten), Delaval (Astley), Charles (Pugh) and Stash (Kirkbride)- who have big shoes to fill! I look forward to continuing their work and helping the festival to expand and develop.”

Anwen was married to Sir Hurt until he died last year.

She studied music at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, before going on to work in both musical and straight theatre. Anwen later moved into film production as head of production at Mad Cow Films, where she produced commercials for TV and cinema for over 15 years.

The festival has become established as one of the regions’ most anticipated annual events. During festival week, the Georgian country town is a magnet for tourists, art lovers and international performers.

Adney Payne, Chair of the Festival Board said “Everyone at Holt Festival is delighted that Anwen Hurt has agreed to be our Artistic Director from 2019. She has been involved in the Festival for many years and we are very lucky that someone of her calibre will be programming the Festival.”

For its tenth anniversary year for 2018, current director Stash Kirkbride has curated a programme including local sketch comedy legends The Nimmo Twins and journalistic heavyweights like Lord Ashdown and John Simpson.

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