Street theatre fun as Holt Festival gets underway

French duo Qualite Street performing in Holt town centre. Photo: Karen Bethell

French duo Qualite Street performing in Holt town centre. Photo: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

A French theatrical invasion saw Holt's High Street and Market Place taken over by continental mime artists, dancers, and circus performers as the town enjoyed an afternoon of free street entertainment today.

Dancer Karla Pollux of French contemporary dance troupe De Fakto entertaining crowds in Holt town ce

Dancer Karla Pollux of French contemporary dance troupe De Fakto entertaining crowds in Holt town centre. Photo: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

The event, part of Holt Festival's launch weekend, included Carnage, who abseiled down the side of a building in a send-up of a crack SWAT team. Cie Kitschnette drew the crowds as a furious woman took her revenge on a man, apparently hacking him to pieces with a chainsaw, and the De Fakto duo danced and mime-acted in a variety of styles.

Taking Water Home by Francesca Perkins, winner of the 2014 Holt Festival Art Prize. Picture: SUBMITT

Taking Water Home by Francesca Perkins, winner of the 2014 Holt Festival Art Prize. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

There were also trapeze antics from Lost in Translation, and dramatic and artistic fun and games from Qualite Street, and Les Cubitenistes.

Francesca Perkins, winner of the 2014 Holt Festival Art Prize, with actor John Hurt, who was one of

Francesca Perkins, winner of the 2014 Holt Festival Art Prize, with actor John Hurt, who was one of the judges. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

The town centre was closed to traffic and large crowds of all ages gathered to watch, admire and laugh.

Festival director Delaval Astley was pleased at the turnout.


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'In the past we used to have a little bit of street theatre all through the week but it didn't have the same impact as having it all in one afternoon.

'It's a great day of entertainment and celebration for the town. Looking at the faces, it seems that everyone is having a good time,' he said.

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Cabaret duo Kit and McConnel opened the week-long festival last night with a sell-out show and tomorrow evening The Bloody Ballad – Gagglebabble, at Holt's Auden Theatre, will tell a tale of murder, arson and betrayal.

Tuesday's programme at the Auden Theatre includes former Labour Party deputy leader Roy Hattersley talking about The Devonshires, at 2pm, and cabaret artiste Meow Meow at 9.30pm.

Highlights later in the week include comedian Rich Hall's Hoedown on Friday, comedienne and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig, and The Bad Shepherds with Wreckless Eric, all on Saturday; and on Sunday, the festival's final day, Orchestra of the Swan, The Stranglers, and broadcaster Melvin Bragg in conversation with scientist Richard Dawkins.

Visit www.holtfestival.org or ring the box office on 01263 711284.

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