Michael Palin among stars heading to Holt Festival this summer

Classic pop from 10cc, eminent composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, and comedian Michael Palin are among the stars heading to Holt Festival this summer.

The third year of the event, which brings big city names to a rural event, features a jam-packed July week of international music, theatre, family shows, film, comedy, dance, poetry and visual arts.

Other highlights from July 24-30 programme, launched this week, include appearances by top classical and jazz singers, a renowned orchestra, and a host of free events.

Artistic director Tony Britten said: 'In a very short space of time, Holt Festival has become an important part of the cultural landscape of North Norfolk, entertaining and engaging a rapidly building audience that enjoys the wide span of artistic endeavour.'

And chairman Delaval Astley added: 'There's a breadth of talent here that is more usually found in cities and I feel great pride to be associated with such a wide ranging event'.


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Sir Richard Rodney Bennett will be celebrating his 75th birthday at Holt during the week. He will be appearing in a special concert with the sublime voice of jazz singer Claire Martin, performing his own arrangements of songs from the Irving Berlin songbook on Wednesday July 27.

The Orchestra of the Swan from Stratford on Avon will include his Seven Country Dances for oboe and strings in their programme on the Monday night.

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All the films in this year's line up include music by the great man including such classics as Murder on the Orient Express.

Sir Richard will introduce Nanny, starring Bette Davis, in a conversation with the festival director. There will also be a week-long exhibition of his little-seen collages in the Festival Club at the Lawns Hotel and he will be signing copies of his biography The Complete Musician at The Holt Bookshop.

Classical music chart toppers I Faglioni appear on Thursday with a programme celebrating their 25th year.

Flam, an original piece of voice theatre, features singers Melanie Pappenheim and Rebecca Askew.

Session guitarist Mitch Dalton, brings an all-star band to play a mix of originals and re-interpretations of jazz standards.

And a hit-filled concert by multi-million album selling band 10cc brings the festival to a close in Gresham's School's atmospheric Theatre in the Woods.

Before that though, Monty Python comedian turned actor and travel presenter Michael Palin will reminisce and set the world to rights with former ITN political editor Michael Brunson, on the Thursday afternoon.

The week also features 'grumpy old man' comic Arthur Smith and comedy songstresses Fascinating Aida.

Theatre includes the UK premier of a new German play The Golden Dragon, a funny fable of modern life, ahead of it going to the Edinburgh Festival and London.

The world's first purpose-built mobile poetry emporium The Poetry Takeaway will serve up free, made-to-order, performed and written poems to literary consumers.

Dance comes from Agnes and Walter: A Little Love Story by Smith Dancetheatre, a Walter Mitty-inspired flight of fantasy in a mundane world.

A full programme of visual art exhibitions includes Pre-Raphaelites and Friends - a loan exhibition including original works by Norfolk's own Frederick Sandys.

Holt Festival spends more than a quarter of programming budget on free events, including family orientated street shows, storytelling, foyer and late night music.

Ubergrandanomium is a new feature of this year's festival with a week full of free workshops and performances for all the family such as ceramic-painting, circus-training, street-dancing, and puppet-making.

A highlight is a talk from former Marvel Comics editor Tim Quinn who worked on everything from Beryl the Peril, Korky the Cat, Bunty, Desperate Dan, and the Bash Street Kids to Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk. He is also doing a workshop help people with their own cartooning skills.

?Full details of the programme are at www.holtfestival.org. The Holt Festival box office is at High Silver, 35 High Street, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6BN, phone 01263 711284 and opens to the general public on June 6. 10cc tickets are available now from Bakers & Larners department store 8 Market Place Holt and via their website www.bakersandlarners.co.uk

HOLT FESTIVAL PROGRAMME

Monday 25 – Saturday 30 July

10.30am Children's Storytelling. Free. The Holt Bookshop 10 Appleyard, Holt A different tale each day for under 10's

12 noon – 6pm Sir Richard Rodney Bennett – Exhibition of Collages, Festival Club, Lawns Hotel, Holt

2pm – until evening Film Ink & Memory – Photography Exhibition – Richard Denyer, Auden Foyer, Auden Theatre, Holt

11am – 2pm Pre-Raphaelites & Friends - Fine Art Exhibition, Art & Antiques Appraisals, Unit 3, High Silver, 35 High Street, Holt

Sunday 24 July

4.30pm Colin Warnock, Piano and voice. Free, foyer, Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt

6pm The Animals & Children Took to the Streets - 1927 Theatre Company (Theatre). Dazzlingly inventive modern gothic fairytale that has been electrifying audiences from its premiere at the Sydney Opera House to its sell-out shows in London. �16 / �5 Auden Theatre.

Monday 25 July

10.30am One Man & His Masks – Gareth Calway (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop). Inspiring performance workshop. Imagine King Arthur's legend revisited as an invasion game sports broadcast, replete with fabulous masks, battle poetry, romance, elegy and a Celtic drum! Suitable for children aged 12 – 16yrs. Free, Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

11am/2pm Anyone For Tennis? The Fairly Famous Family (Street Theatre). Hilarious and thrilling 'one setter' tennis match is played out live with all the drama of the real thing including slow motion replays, heated line calls and live commentary. Free, 11am Feathers Yard, Holt, 2pm Chapel Yard, Holt

12noon King Arthur – One Man & his masks (UBERGRANDANOMIUM – performance). Special performance by Gareth Calway to complement his workshop at 10.30. Free Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

2pm Doodlepots Pottery Painting Workshop (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop). Come and paint a tile, square or round, to be glazed and fired. Bring your own design or be inspired by the samples and stencils. Plenty of friendly advice will be on hand to get Doodling! Suitable for children aged 4+ – u12s must be accompanied by an adult. FREE Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

3pm Hoofbeat (gig) First of three shows from this five-piece acoustic band 'hoofin' their mix of jazz, classical, folk and world music styles around Holt. Free, Appleyard, Holt

5pm Murder On The Orient Express (PG) (Film). Hercule Poirot is played by Albert Finney in this definitive version. Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, John Gielgud and Sean Connery are all fellow passengers on board the train. Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's waltz for the departure of the train has become a regular concert piece. �6 / �5 The Railway Tavern 2 Station Road, Holt

6.30pm Hoofbeat (Gig) Foyer show from acoustic musical magicians. Free, Foyer, Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt.

8pm Orchestra of the Swan (Classical music) In honour of Holt Festival's celebration of his 75th birthday, the programme from this acclaimed orchestra will include Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's Seven Country Dances for oboe and strings. �15 / �5 Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt

8pm Pie, Pint & Poetry - Martin Newell, John Osborne & Molly Naylor (Poetry) Three modern performance poets breathing new life into the genre in a casually convivial setting.�10 / �5 Festival Club The Lawns Hotel 26 Station Road, Holt

10pm Hoofbeat (gig) Late night jazz, classical, folk and world music. Free, Festival Club The Lawns Hotel 26 Station Road, Holt

Tuesday 26 July

10am (to 4pm) Razz & Pearl (Street Theatre) A full day of fun from these fabulous clowns. Free, Around and about Holt

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10am (to 4pm) Musical Theatre Workshop (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop) Create stunning song and dance routines with professionals in signing dancing and acting. Suitable for children aged 8 – 12yrs. Free, Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

11am/2pm Whydini – The Boneshaker Medicine Show (Street Theatre). Old time showman with future-retro arcane wonderworking flimflammery to astound you with his miracle tonic and incredible prestidigitation. Free, 11am Lees Yard, Holt 2pm Chapel Yard

11am/1.30pm/3.30pm Tiny Tightwire (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop) Puppetry and impeccable balance come together in this delightful tightwire show for all the family. Free, Old School Playground, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

11.45am/2.45pm Daft as a Brush-Maynard Flip Flap (Street Theatre). Daring shoe balancing, a coat hanger escape, high-flying eggs and audience members' racing biscuits all feature in this internationally travelled street theatre show. Free, 11.45am Chapel Yard, Holt 2.45pm Appleyard, Holt

3pm Photography, Truth & Artifice – Richard Denyer (Exhibition Lecture) Free, Auden foyer, Gresham's School, Holt

5pm The Billion Dollar Brain (PG) (Film). The third of the Harry Palmer films with Michael Caine as the retired British agent who uncovers a lethal plot to overthrow communism. The direction by enfant terrible Ken Russell is masterly as the film plays out spectacularly on the ice in Finland and Bennett's score for brass, pianos and percussion matches Russell's vision. �6/ �5 The Railway Tavern 2 Station Road, Holt

7pm New Zealand String Quartet (Classical music) With appearances at the Frick Collection in New York, the Wigmore Hall, and with several international tours behind them, the renowned New Zealand String Quartet come to Holt straight from the City of London Festival. �16 / �5 St Andrews Church, Church St, Holt

7pm ARGH! Life as a Comic Book Creator! I Was Spider-Man's Editor – The Mighty Quinn (UBERGRANDANOMIUM – talk) For over 30 years Tim Quinn worked on everything from Beryl the Peril, Korky the Cat, Bunty, Desperate Dan, and the Bash Street Kids to Marvel's Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk. Enjoy Tim's hilarious trip through 150 years of the best and worst strip creations. Hear how, with legendary Queen guitarist Brian May, he created a comic book without pictures. How the naughtiest comic strip ever was produced in the Marvel Comics' basement, and how the daughter of Enid Blyton teamed up with the editor of Spider-Man. Free, Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

8.30pm Topping & Butch/Gary Delaney/Nathan Caton/Rob Collins (comp�re) (Stand-Up Comedy) Top comedy line up featuring acerbic, satirical headliners Topping & Butch, award winning Nathan Caton, razor sharp Gary Delaney and experienced and amiable comp�re Collins. �14 / �5 Feathers Hotel, Market Place, Holt

10pm Fascinating Aida (comedy/music) Britain's top comedy songstresses, who after appearing on five continents, in six West End runs, and with eight albums and three Olivier Award nominations behind them, finally get round to performing in Holt. Imagine Absolutely Fabulous sung by the Andrews Sisters... �16 / �5 Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt

Wednesday 27 July

All Day Talking Postboxes. Stuff and Things have unlocked the sonic secrets of the humble British post box. Two terribly talkative post boxes - honest upright and true, converse consider ruminate and ramble, sharing their thoughts feelings and opinions with passers-by. Free. Spot them around Holt

10am Italian Painting in the 18th Century – James Glennie (Exhibition Lecture). Free, Anthony Fell Antiques, Bull Street, Holt

10.30am Voice Workshop with Melanie Pappenheim & Rebecca Askew (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop) 'If you can talk, you can sing, if you can walk -you can dance.' Come and join our fun family session. Learn traditional songs and join in with singing games. Suitable 5yrs+ (u7s must be accompanied by an adult). Free, Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

10.30am Street Dance Workshop (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop) An energetic mix of break and street dance to learn some of the hottest moves around. Suitable 10 – 16yrs. Free. St Andrew's Church Hall, Church St, Holt

11am/2pm Off His Trolley – Maynard Flip Flap (Street Theatre) Boundless entertainment from the North of England fool, back at the Holt Festival by popular demand. Free. 11am Appleyard, Holt 2pm Chapel Yard

11.45am/1.30pn/3pm Hodman & Sally (Street Theatre).Two tiny adventurers with a lot on their minds and even more on their backs. Join these elderly amblers as they set to fathom out the modern world, meet strange and exciting new people and search for a decent place to camp! Free. 11.45am Chapel Yard, Holt, 1.30pm Appleyard, 3pm Feathers Yard

2pm The Mighty Quinn Cartoon Extravaganza - Tim Quinn (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop) Discover your cartooning skills with the former editor of Marvel Comics, Tim Quinn. He'll help you to draw figures, tell stories with pictures and create characters and plots. There'll be a bit of comic book history too – after all he made lots of it. Beryl the Peril, Korky the Cat, Iron Man and Spider-Man – he genuinely knows them all. Suitable 7 – 18yrs. Free. Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

5pm & 10pm Flam Melanie Pappenheim and Rebecca Askew (Music/theatre) A duet in which these two brilliant singers gossip, compete, sympathise, chant and conduct a hilarious singing lesson - all to the original music of Orlando Gough. A superbly original piece of voice theatre. �8 / �5 Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

5pm Enchanted April (U) (Film) The only made for television film in the season, the BBC's Enchanted April tapped into the US's interest in period British drama, resulting in a theatrical release. Set post world war one, it's a gentle comedy about Brits discovering their emotions in sunny Italy, with a stand out performance by Joan Plowright. Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's score was subsequently turned into a concert suite. �6 / �5 The Railway Tavern 2 Station Road, Holt

6.30pm Mitch Dalton (Gig) Free foyer show from one of the most in-demand session guitar players in the country. Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt

7pm Anthony Thwaite/Alan Brownjohn/Andrea Holland (Poetry) Three highly respected poets reading from their extensive published works. �10 / �5 Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

8pm Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & Claire Martin present the Irving Berlin Songbook (Music) In celebration of Sir Richard's 75th birthday, this new show, with sublime arrangements by the great man himself, includes classics such as Let's Face the Music and Dance, How Deep is the Ocean, What'll I Do?, Cheek to Cheek and Let Yourself Go. All are delivered with the style and panache that you would expect from these two great friends and world-class artists. Claire Martin has been described as 'The most gifted jazz singer this country has produced in twenty years'. �20 / �5 Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt

9pm Club Jam Night Tony Britten is joined by fellow musicians for impromptu jazz jamming. Free. Festival Club, The Lawns Hotel, 26 Station Road, Holt

Thursday 28 July

All Day Talking Postboxes.Spot them around Holt

10am Passion Among Friends – The Pre-Raphaelites – Nicola Tyler (Exhibition Lecture). Free. Anthony Fell Antiques, Bull Street, Holt

11am (to 3pm) Poetry Take-Away - Tim Clare, John Osborne and others. The world's first purpose-built mobile poetry emporium. Staffed by some of the UK's finest performance poetry chefs, the Poetry Takeaway serves up free, made-to-order, performed and written poems to the hungry yet discerning literary consumer FAST. Free. Feathers Yard

11am Shadow Puppet Workshop - Garlic Theatre (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop) Master puppeteers from Garlic Theatre will guide you in a fun and relaxed workshop to help you create your own funny and unusual shadow puppets. Free. Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

11am Music Theatre Workshop - Orlando Gough, Melanie Pappenheim & Rebecca Askew. A rare chance to work with Melanie and Rebecca, both founder members of Orlando Gough's vocal big band The Shout. They will lead you for an hour and a half in some Flam-like vocal shenanigans. Free. St Andrew's Church Hall, Church Street, Holt

11.30am Book signing – Sir Richard Rodney Bennett signing copies of his biography, The Complete Musician by Anthony Meredith and Paul Harris. Holt Bookshop, Appleyard

2pm Fiddlesticks - Garlic Theatre (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - performance) A spellbinding tale of rhythmical twists and turns with a lively blend of clowning, rod and shadow puppets, percussion and live music. Free. Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

2pm Michael Palin in conversation with Michael Brunson. Much loved actor, writer, television presenter and comedian, Michael Palin, a man who's had two trains named after him, and one of the nation's favourite treasures will be reminiscing with the audience, setting the world to rights with Michael Brunson, long serving political editor for ITN, and taking questions from all and sundry.

�20 Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt tickets from The Holt Bookshop: 01263 715858

4pm The Nanny + Sir Richard Rodney Bennett Q&A (18) (Film) Bette Davis gives one of the greatest performances of her career in this psycho thriller. A fine supporting cast of British character actors, includes a young Wendy Craig playing decidedly against type. �8 / �5 The Railway Tavern 2 Station Road, Holt

5pm Razz & Pearl Stage Show (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - performance) A rare opportunity to see this fabulous stage show with two of the country's leading clowns. Be amazed and delighted as they perform magic and tricks guaranteed to raise at least a smile. Free. Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

6.30pm Colin Warnock Keyboards and vocals. Free. Foyer, Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt

7pm I Fagiolini - It Don't Mean a Thing: I Fagiolini's 25th Birthday Cocktail (Classical music)World-renowned ensemble currently riding a high. The only vocal group ever to win the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Ensemble Prize, this year they enjoyed several weeks at the top of the classical music charts. In celebration of their twenty-fifth anniversary they present a captivating and wide-ranging programme of ensemble favourites including Monteverdi, Striggio, Milhaud and a new commission for the 25th anniversary by Orlando Gough, one of the festival's featured composers. �18 / �5 St Andrews Church, Church St, Holt

8pm Arthur Smith Exposed (Comedy)Comedy institution and Edinburgh Festival legend, Arthur Smith - wit, charmer and grumpy old man - gives his take on showbiz, himself, and comedy today. An evening of rumbustious revelation from the Night Mayor of Balham. �18 / �5 Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt

9pm The Full Monteverdi + Robert Hollingsworth Q&A (no cert) (Film) This award-winning and critically acclaimed British independent based on Monteverdi's madrigals has enjoyed global success. Featuring I Fagiolini with music directed by Robert Hollingworth, it follows the simultaneous break-up of six couples, from shocking revelation, through vengeful anger and erotic longing for reconciliation, to ultimate abandonment.�8 / �5 The Railway Tavern 2 Station Road, Holt

9.30pm Mitch Dalton & The Studio Kings (Gig) One of the most revered session guitarists in the business brings an all-star band to play a melodic but groove-based mix of originals and quirky re-interpretations of jazz standards.�12 / �5 Festival Club The Lawns Hotel 26 Station Road, Holt

Friday 29 July

All Day Talking Postboxes. Free. Spot them around Holt

10.30am Doodlepots Decopatch Workshop (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop) Create a colourful owl to take away. Decopatch is a fun new craft using bright papers to transform anything. The owl is the symbol of Holt so what better way to celebrate Holt Festival!6yrs+ ( u12s must be accompanied by an adult). Free. Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

11am Foolhardy Victorian Gentleman (Street Theatre). Improvised knockabout fun. Free. Appleyard

2pm Foolhardy Circus Skills Workshop (UBERGRANDANOMIUM - workshop) Learn the secret talents of the circus? A fun packed and very entertaining afternoon to discover new and unusual skills from real circus people! Suitable for 10yrs+. Free. Old School Hall, Gresham's Pre-Prep, Market Place, Holt

3pm Mark Fawcett & George Crawley Gig) Raw country blues duo with singer-songwriter Fawcett from Don't Spook The Horse and acclaimed pianist Crawley of The Boogaloo Blues Band. Free. Appleyard, Holt

5pm Far From The Madding Crowd (U) (Film) Hardy's epic, brought to exciting cinematic life by John Schlesinger is rightly remembered for the luminous performance of Julie Christie, but Frederic Raphael's script and the exquisite photography of Nicholas Roeg are equally memorable. Bennett's score is lush, pastoral and evocative and was lauded by Elmer Bernstein for returning major symphonic scores to the cinema. �6 / �5 The Railway Tavern 2 Station Road, Holt

6.30pm Mark Fawcett & George Crawley (Gig) Country Blues Duo. Free. Foyer, Auden Theatre

8pm The Golden Dragon by ATC Theatre (Theatre) A real coup for the festival, Olivier Award winning company ATC are directed by Ramin Gray in the UK premiere of Germany's most successful new play. A funny and theatrical fable of modern life and migration, whisking you from your local takeaway to East Asia and back, revealing what really goes into that bowl of spicy soup. �16 / �5 Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt

9pm Mark Fawcett & George Crawley (Gig) More raw country blues from this guitar/vocal and piano duo. Free. Festival Club The Lawns Hotel 26 Station Road, Holt

Saturday 30 July

12 noon (to 3pm) Dixieland Street Jazz Band (Music). Trad Jazz throughout the Georgian streets of Holt.

5pm Agnes & Walter by Smith dancetheatre (Contemporary dance) Secret wishes, suppressed desires and a shed. Trapped in a mundane existence, Agnes & Walter delve into their private worlds of daydream and fantasy, working to maintain their relationship. A love story to long-term commitment inspired by The Secret Life of Walter Mitty this delightful flight of fancy reveals that just beyond the ordinary lies the very extraordinary. �14 / �5 Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt

8pm 10cc (Gig) With more than 30 million album sales worldwide to their name and 11 top ten UK singles, 10cc are one of the UK's most successful and influential bands ever. Think Donna, Rubber Bullets, I'm Not In Love, Dreadlock Holiday, Life's A Minestrone and many, many more! �29.95 Theatre in the Woods, Gresham's School, Cromer Road, Holt

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