Alan Bennett among big name headliners at Holt Festival this summer

Well-known writer Alan Bennett joins Harry Potter actress Miriam Margoyles, satirist Richard Ingrams and jazz musician Courtney Pine among the big names on the Holt Festival bill this summer.

The event running from July 22-28 features a busy week of arts and entertainment from international music, drama, visual art, dance, comedy, and cinema to free street entertainment, kids shows and workshops.

Playwright Bennett, whose work includes The History Boys, Habeas Corpus, An Englishman Abroad and Talking Heads will be talking to interviewer Michael Brunson in the Theatre in the Woods at Gresham's school on July 27.

Character actress Margoyles, whose varied roles include Professor Sprout in the Chamber of Secrets, brings her Dickens' Women one-woman show to the town on July 22 - with a chance to chat to her afterwards at a seven-course dinner.

Private Eye founder Richard Ingrams and editor of the Oldie magazine will talk about his new book The Best of The Oldie on July 25.

But the festival, in its quest to provide something for everyone, is also showcasing varied acts such as the physical comedy of the 'living paper cartoon' Ennio Marchetto. Dutch woodwind quartet Calefax, and nu-folk/psychedelia/glam rock exponents Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny.

Festival director Delaval Astley said: 'Once again the festival is testing its potential and pushing its ambitions a little further. I believe the programme will have cross-generational appeal with comedy, some notable poets, a touch of cabaret, classical music, jazz, theatre, dance, puppetry, opera, silent films with improvised accompaniment, art exhibitions and the newly launched Holt Festival Art Prize.'

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There will be a live version of the Sony Award winning Radio 4 programme Mark Steel's In Town with the comedian targeting his host town's interesting and quirky traits.

Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion will be reading from his eagerly-awaited sequel to Treasure Island (July 26), while

The Angel in the Forest, Julian Marshall's dramatic song cycle for tenor solo, vocal ensemble and cello sextet - inspired by a poem by German Jewish Gertrud Kolmar who was murdered in Auschwitz - will be performed on July 25 for the first time outside London.

Sinfonia Viva celebrate their 30th anniversary with a new piece from renowned composer Tunde Jegedew, while Irish singer-songwriter and BBC Jazz Awards winner Christine Tobin capture the beauty of W B Yeats' poetry with settings to twelve works in Sailing to Byzantium (July 25).

OperaUpClose's modern day re-working of La Boh�me, which won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Opera, is being staged on July 27.

Film buffs have a full day (July 28) of silent films featuring screen goddesses silent screen, Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow.

Festival Field is a new venue for lots of street theatre and circus skills. The second year of Ubergrandanomium provides a packed week of free workshops and performances for all the family including junk drumming, dragon mask making, street-dancing and a combat workshop.

A full programme of visual art is around the town's venues, while actor John Hurt will be announcing the winners of the new Holt Festival Art prize on July 16.

Saxophonist Courtney Pine and his band close the festival in the Theatre in the Woods on the final night.

? Full details of all Holt Festival 2012 events at The box office, which opens on June 11, is at High Silver, 35 High Street, Holt, 01263 711284. Tickets for Courtney Pine are available now from Bakers and Larners or via



6pm - Miriam Margolyes in Dickens' Women, Auden Theatre, �25/�5, and 8.30pm Dinner with Miriam Margolyes, Back to the Garden, �100.

8pm - Stand-Up Sunday (comedy), Feathers Hotel, �15 / �5 with Ben Van der Velde (MC), Ryan McDonnell, Jessica Fostekew, Hal Cruttenden

9pm - Paprika (music) Auden Theatre. �14 / �12/ �5. World music rooted in the sounds of Balkan, gypsy and classical music,


11am, 2pm and 4pm - The Incredible Book Eating Boy, Bootworks Theatre (children's theatre), Lawns Hotel, free. Adaptation of Oliver Jeffers' award-winning children's book.

2pm and 3.30pm - Street dance workshop (Ubergrandanomium, performance), Gresham's pre-prep. Break and street dance for ages 10 to 16 years.

9pm - Beth Jeans Houghton and The Hooves of Destiny (gig), Holt Community centre, �12 / �5. Indie psychedelic glam folk.


10am - Junk drumming workshop, Gresham's Pre-Prep, free. Create wondrous sounds from an assortment of seemingly unplayable instruments - barrels, plastic pipes, bits of old wood and metal. 8yrs +

6.45pm - Mark Steel's in Town (comedy), Auden Theatre, �18 / �5. Comedian Mark takes a quirky look at his host town.

10pm - Ennio Marchetto, the Living Paper Cartoon (comedy), Auden Theatre, �20/�5. Physical comedy where each paper-costumed impression unfolds into the next.


2pm - Richard Ingrams. Auden Theatre, �12/�5. Key figure in the satire boom of the 1960s and co-founder of Private Eye who went on to found The Oldie in 1992.

4.30pm - The Angel in the Forest (music), St Andrews Church, �20/�5. First time outside London for dramatic song cycle for tenor solo, vocal ensemble and cello sextet.

8.30pm - Hugh Lupton, On Common Ground (storytelling), Festival Club, The Lawns Hotel, �10/�5. One of Britain's finest storytellers with his exploration of the life of John Clare


10am - Mini Olympic Tennis Finals by Fairly Famous Family (family event), Festival Field, Cromer Road, free. Almost as exciting as Wimbledon with ball boys, a player and even Royalty taken from the audience.

5pm - Andrew Motion – Silver: Return to Treasure Island (event), Festival Club, The Lawns Hotel, �10/�5. The former poet Laureate introduces his eagerly awaited sequel to Treasure Island, which features noble seamen, murderous pirates and tales of love, valour and terrible cruelty.

7.45pm - Rosie Kay Dance: Asylum and Double Points: K (dance), Auden Theatre, �16/�5. Two dance works featuring music ranging from Vivaldi and Bach through to drum and bass, dubstep and electronica


9.30am and 11am - Combat Workshop (Ubergrandanomium - workshop), Gresham's Pre-Prep, free. Fencing workshop with professional coach, Paul Stimpson. Age 12+

2pm - Alan Bennett in conversation with Michael Brunson (event), Theatre in the Woods, Gresham's School, �15/�5. On of England's leading playwrights has been amusing and provoking successive generations with his gentle, self-mocking satire ever since first appearing in Beyond the Fringe in 1960.

7pm - La Boh�me by OperaUpClose, Auden Theatre, �25/�5. Puccini's masterpiece is transported to modern day Soho in production that has introduced thousands of people to opera.


11am - Flesh and the Devil (PG) with improvised piano accompaniment from James McConnel (film), Old School Hall, Market Place, �7/�5. The film that shot Greta Garbo to stardom.

5.30pm The Table – Blind Summit (theatre), Auden Theatre, �16/�5. A visual feast of adult puppetry including a story told entirely with pieces of paper emerging form a briefcase, and a tiny puppet Moses with a cardboard head full of lonely wisdom.

8pm Courtney Pine and his Band plus Ayanna and Gwyneth Herbert (gig), Theatre in the Woods, Gresham's School, �25/�5. One of the most inspirational British jazz musicians of modern times whose music often integrates modern styles like drum and bass and UK garage with contemporary jazz.

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