Holt Festival to feature artistic variety

Geno Washington who is appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: ERIC HANDS

Geno Washington who is appearing at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: ERIC HANDS - Credit: Archant

An increasingly-popular arts festival returns this weekend to a picturesque tourist town.

The Holt Festival, in its seventh year, which attracts thousands of people from across Norfolk and further afield starts on Sunday July 19 and finishes on Sunday July 26.

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

Performers are appearing across the town 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.

Festival goers can also enjoy free fringe events at St Andrew's Church on from Saturday July 18-Saturday July 25.

They include an evening with the Rev Richard Coles: From Pop to Pulpit on July 18; light-hearted poetry readings in an event entitled Further Adrift in Eden on July 20; a lunchtime organ recital on July 22; and a concert by King Henry's Band on July 24.

Highlight acts for the main festival include Steeleye Span, a cabaret circus troupe and close-harmony group the Puppini Sisters, who have performed with Michael Bublé.

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In conversation events include a discussion between cricket commentators Henry Blofeld and Peter Baxter; a talk by journalist turned I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here contender Michael Buerk on contemporary Islam; and a discussion between stand-up comedian Jenny Eclair and the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, who is an MP and chair of the government's public accounts committee.

Other festival treats include a culinary chat between former Masterchef presenter Loyd Grossman and restaurant critic Tom Parker Bowles and soul musician Geno Washington.

Artistic director Charles Pugh, who is new to the role, said: 'I am very much looking forward to the big week.

'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.'

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

? See page 50 for more previews of two dramas being staged during the Holt Festival.

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