Artistic director Charles Pugh gives his thoughts on Holt Festival as the week-long feast of entertainment comes to a close

Holt Festival's Artistic Director Charles Pugh. Picture: Holt Festival

Holt Festival's Artistic Director Charles Pugh. Picture: Holt Festival - Credit: Holt Festival

Terrific audiences, great performances and a warm and intimate atmosphere ensured the ninth annual Holt Festival was a great success, the event's artistic director said on the final day.

James McDermott is bringing his hometown festival to a close with his comedy one-man play Rubber Ring on Sunday night, after comedian Jasper Carrott pulled out for health reasons.

The week-long festival has featured a wide variety of shows.

They were held in venues all over town including St Andrew's Church, the Auden Theatre, in the bookshop, Holt Community Centre, hotels and in the open-air Theatre in the Woods.

Artistic director Charles Pugh said: 'It's been a great week.

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'Attendances have been very good. We've sold between 6,000 and 7,000 tickets.

'I'm not sure yet if we've had a record year as I've not gone through the figures but it's certainly been up there with anything that has gone before,'

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Mr Pugh said he believes the festival's enduring appeal is down to the wide range of talent on show.

He said: 'The festival programme features quality acts across all of the arts.

'We had Suzi Quatro on Saturday night and she was truly outstanding - such a professional.

'She had everyone in the audience on their feet and waving their arms for the last half hour - it was quite something to see.

'There were opera singers from Valencia at St Andrew's Church on Wednesday who were given the longest standing ovation I've ever seen.

'The Cuban musicians at Holt Community Centre on Tuesday were magnificent.'

He added: 'The feedback we've been getting is that it's been very Holt centric this year. People like Suzi Quatro will attract people from all over Norfolk but the town residents have been very involved and attending many of the shows.'

And while the sound of the audiences' applause may still be ringing in his ears, Mr Pugh is already thinking about next year when Holt Festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Mr Pugh said: 'We want to make the 10th anniversary year something really special and we will start planning almost straight away.'

What did you think of this year's Holt Festival? E mail

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