Dynasty star and Oscar-winning actress among line-up for arts festival

Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham will appear at the Hostry Festival 2021 and Paint Out Norwich also returns. 

Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham will appear at the Hostry Festival 2021 and Paint Out Norwich also returns. - Credit: Contributed/Katy Jon Went

Norfolk’s Hostry Festival has announced an exciting and packed programme for its 2021 autumn season, which will also celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Set in the stunning surroundings of Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry building, the ‘Autumn Festival of Norfolk’ makes a welcome return from October 17 to November 7, after postponing its programme in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

To mark 10 years of success, several original festival commissions have taken the theme of Beethoven’s Tenth, with signature projects including the Norfolk premiere of a Peter Ustinov comedy drama and the colourful and stirring sounds of an African choir.

Stephanie Beacham

Stephanie Beacham - Credit: Contributed by Hostry Festival

Key speakers guaranteed to be a hit with festival-goers include actresses Stephanie Beacham and Haley Mills, and actress-turned-author Carol Drinkwater.

Stephanie Beacham has a long list of film, stage and television roles to her credit, such as in the BBC drama Tenko and ITV’s Connie, and she enjoyed infamy as the glamorous Sable Colby in the ABC soap operas The Colbys and Dynasty with an onscreen rivalry with Joan Collins. 

Her theatre roles have included Maria Callas and Princess Margaret. She will be in conversation on October 30 with festival patron Peter Wilson MBE.

Oscar-winning actress and also a festival patron, Hayley Mills makes a return to the Hostry on October 31, following her previous appearance in 2016, and will be chatting about her new autobiography Forever Young, with artistic director Stash Kirkbride. 

Hayley Mills 

Hayley Mills - Credit: Bee Gilbert

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Hayley’s memoir is of a British child star of the 1960s (and daughter of Sir John Mills and Mary Hayley Bell) who won an Oscar for Pollyanna and went on to make other Walt Disney hits such as The Parent Trap, as well as the iconic 1961 film Whistle Down the Wind.

Carol Drinkwater is an award-winning actress best known for her portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC’s All Creatures Great and Small.

Her quartet of memoirs set on her olive farm in the south of France have sold over a million copies worldwide, while her most recent novel, An Act of Love, has just been published to critical acclaim.

She will be talking about her dual careers on October 31 to Total Ensemble artistic director Rebecca Chapman.

The cast of Beethoven's Tenth

The cast of Beethoven's Tenth - Credit: Andrew Florides

This year’s central production will be the Norfolk premiere of Beethoven’s Tenth, which will run from October 25-30. 

This comedy drama was penned by one of the country’s favourite actors, renaissance man the late Sir Peter Ustinov. 

Total Ensemble Theatre Company

Total Ensemble Theatre Company - Credit: Contributed by Hostry Festival

Alongside the production and performed nightly as a prologue, Egmont: A Valiant Stand is written by Rebecca Chapman, of Total Ensemble Theatre Company (one ticket covers both performances).

Total Ensemble celebrates its own 10th anniversary this autumn having produced original ensemble productions with large, fully integrated disabled and non-disabled casts since 2011. 

Leader of the African Choir of Norfolk Anna Mudeka (2nd from left) with choir members.

Leader of the African Choir of Norfolk Anna Mudeka (2nd from left) with choir members. - Credit: Simon Finlay Photography

The most recently created signature project, The African Choir of Norfolk will launch with a concert led by the inspirational Anna Mudeka (October 22). 

‘Paint Out Norwich’, another signature project, returns once more to redefine the joys of outdoor painting in the alleyways and lanes of the city and you can find out more at paintout.events.

Paint Out Norwich

Paint Out Norwich - Credit: Katy Jon Went

The Norfolk Arts Awards ceremony, in association with the Eastern Daily Press, which honours the county’s arts and cultural organisations, will take place at The Hostry on Saturday, October 23.

Stash Kirkbride, artistic director and co-founder of the festival, said: “We are, of course, so happy to be announcing our line-up of events celebrating the arts in Norfolk. 

“For this year, we have taken extra care and attention to ensure safety at events is paramount, with social distancing and adaptability being key."

Reflecting on the past ten years, Peter Barrow, co-founder and executive producer, said: “To our credit we have commissioned over 100 projects, worked with nearly 1,000 volunteers, hosted over 200 events, engaging and affecting individuals’ lives for the better on so many occasions.”

Events take place in The Hostry at Norwich Cathedral unless otherwise stated. 

Book now and see the full line-up at hostryfestival.org, by phone on 01603 598676 or in person at Norwich Theatre Royal.