Comic Jenny Eclair, politician Margaret Hodge and soul man Geno Washington named as latest acts for Holt Festival

Jenny Eclair who is appearing at Holt Festival this summer

Jenny Eclair who is appearing at Holt Festival this summer - Credit: Archant

Comedy, soul and politics have been unveiled among the latest shows heading to Holt Festival this summer.

Margaret Hodge

Margaret Hodge - Credit: Archant

Award-winning stand-up comic Jenny Éclair, part of the Grumpy Old Women TV team, has been matched up with politician Margaret Hodge for an 'in conversation' session on the afternoon of Friday July 24.

The comedienne was the first woman to win the coveted Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe, toured with Grumpy Old Women live show 50 Shades of Beige as well as her own show Eclairious and published a third novel Life, Death and Vanilla Slices.

She will chat with Mrs Hodge, who has been in the spotlight for grilling officials as the first female chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

The two formidable forces will interview each other about people, politics, power, petticoats, performance and passion - and are likely to touch on growing old gracefully or disgracefully, the challenge of carving out careers in fields where, and at a time when women were rare and men often tried to wield inappropriate power.

Geno Washington

Geno Washington - Credit: Archant


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Later in the evening at 9pm the soul music of Geno Washington will fill the town's Theatre in the Woods.

Mr Washington, known as the UK's Godfather of Soul first came to the UK with the US Air Force in the 1960s when he was stationed in Norfolk.

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After leaving the military he settled in England, and became one of the biggest draws on the live circuit and dominated the album charts – his first live disc sitting in the charts for an unprecedented 48 weeks.

His support acts included Pink Floyd, Georgie Fame, The Small Faces, and Jimi Hendrix - and he was immortalised in Dexy's Midnight Runners' hit Geno.

Henry Blofeld. Picture: PA

Henry Blofeld. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

There is a change of date for Norfolk-born cricket commentator Henry Blofeld and his great friend and foil Peter Baxter. Their Rogues on the Road session - crammed full of cricketing reminiscences and anecdotes - was originally set to appear at The Auden Theatre on Monday July 20. But festival artistic director Charles Pugh has moved them to The Theatre in the Woods for 4pm on Saturday July 25 to provide a bigger venue.

Holt Festival has already announced other names such as Steelye Span, Jeffrey Archer, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Michael Buerke and Stella Rimington. The full line up will be revealed in mid May.

Full details and ticket bookings at www.holtfestival.org or call the box office on 01603 598699.

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