Holt Festival aiming to appeal to a wide audience

Holt Festival artistic director Charles Pugh. Picture: SUBMITTED

Holt Festival artistic director Charles Pugh. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

The new artistic director of Holt Festival is hoping to strike the right balance between intellectual stimulation and light entertainment at this year's event.

Jenny Eclair who is appearing at Holt Festival this summer

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

Now in its seventh year, the annual arts festival which attracts thousands of people starts on Sunday July 19 and finishes on Sunday July 26.

Artistic director Charles Pugh, who is new to the role, said: 'It has been hard work organising it but I have enjoyed it and am very much looking forward to the big week.'

The festival will include 30 acts, ranging from plays, poetry, dancers, musicians, a nature expert politician, stand-up comic, medical expert and broadcaster.

Mr Pugh said the festival had built up a strong reputation outside of north Norfolk and attracted visitors to the area as well as support from local traders.

He said: 'I have tried to make it a festival for all tastes. I am not hugely ambitious for bigger numbers but am hugely ambitious to develop the range and quality of what we provide at Holt - to make it as exciting and stimulating as I can.

'I'm aiming for afternoons that are intellectually stimulating and intriguing but evenings that have more light entertainment so people can work hard in the day and have fun at night.'

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He said ticket sales were going well and several of the events had sold out already.

Highlight acts include Steeleye Span, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, a Flamenco dance evening and cricket commentators Henry Blofeld and Peter Baxter.

Dozens of primary school children will be also be entertained at the Auden Theatre by The Classic Buskers and magician Neil Henry.

The festival acts will be performing at St Andrew's Church, the Auden Theatre and Theatre in the Woods, both on the grounds of Gresham's School, and Holt Community Centre on Kerridge Way.

Mr Pugh expected 6,000 tickets to be sold.

To book tickets call 01603 598699 or for details of the festival events visit www.holtfestival.org

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