Junk drumming and stars entertain at Holt Festival

Youngsters have been learning how to turn 'junk' into music during the Holt Festival.

A workshop session and performance today, Tuesday, saw musicians from Bright Trash teach their students how to beat out a rhythm using pots, pans, and plastic barrels.

Organisers say the festival is going well, helped by a blast of sunny weather, with star names laced among a mixture of music, drama, dance, art and family fun.

TV and film actress Miriam Margoyles charmed a sell out crowd on the opening weekend with her one-woman show Dickens' Women in which she plays 23 different characters.

On Friday playwright Alan Bennett will be chatting in Gresham's School's Theatre in the Woods, and on Saturday night jazz legend Courtney Pine will bring down the curtain with the finale concert at the same venue.

Audiences have also been treated to world and classical music, comedy, dance, art shows, and family events including Bootworks Theatre's show based on the Incredible Book-Eating Boy children's book. It featured tiny booth where there is room for a child and an adult, who see the pages come alive through a trio of windows - using actors, puppets and projections.

Festival chairman Delaval Astley said he was thrilled at how the audience and performers were enjoying the event.

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'One of our more leftfield acts Beth Jeans Houghton loved Holt and said she wants to come back as soon as she can to work on a new project she has in mind.

'I suppose what has really struck me is what a celebration of diversity the Festival is, in a way normally only associated with much larger festivals.'

Many of the ticketed shows were complete sell-outs but there was plenty of family fun around town and in the festival field behind Gresham's Pre Prep school.

The Festival continues until Saturday, with other highlights including John Cooper Clarke, Andrew Motion, Ayanna, Wendy Cope, nujazz sensation Ayanna and an updated La Boheme opera.

Tickets are still available for shows including tonight's performance by Rosie Kay Dance and Blind Summit's Fringe First winning grown up puppetry tale The Table on Saturday, as well as Courtney Pine.

Details at www.holtfestival.org.

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