Holt Festival Sets Full 2015 Lineup

The waiting is over, Holt Festival, North Norfolk's award winning international festival of music, drama, visual art, literary giants, talks, dance and comedy, has announced its full programme for 2015, its seventh year.

New announcements that complete an exceptional line up for new artistic director Charles Pugh's first year include an exciting new theatre production, risqué cabaret, top London comedians, poetry, flamenco and exhibitions, including work from world renowned artists rarely seen in the UK.

Charles Pugh commented 'For my first Festival here in Holt I wanted to ensure quality arts and entertainment across a range of styles and disciplines throughout the week. I like to think we've achieved that and if the reactions to the shows we have already announced are anything to go by it would appear that our audiences, both new and existing, agree. I'm especially excited to be bringing innovative new work such as The Spruce Goose and Seastar Opera's Hello Mr Gershwin to Holt alongside some daring cabaret and big names and personalities like Steve Harley, Jenny Eclair & Margaret Hodge, Steeleye Span, Geno Washington, Jeffrey Archer and Blofeld & Baxter.'

Theatre
The Spruce Goose (24 July) is the new play from acclaimed writer and director Ncube. Set in 1947 as Howard Hughes' eponymous airplane made its first and only flight a Hollywood director faces the greatest challenge of his career when his latest masterpiece is slammed by studio executives. Unswerving period detail and jazzy musical interludes illustrate the timeless battle between creative, political and moral ambition and the tough, commercial reality of the film industry.

Cabaret
London's premier cabaret company Cirque du Cabaret prides itself on no two shows ever being the same and have created a bespoke show just for Holt (23 May). Expect an array of circus skills, burlesque striptease, live music and possibly some fake German accents! With a stable of performers hailing from Moscow to Hull, this unique Cirque du Cabaret event promises to put variety back on the map and put a smile on your face. This is definitely a show for the over 18's!

Music
With four albums under their waist-cinching belts and a fifth one under way, the world's leading close-harmony group The Puppini Sisters (19 July) count Prince Charles, The Manhattan Transfer and Michael Bublé amongst their fans. They bring their new show to Holt featuring classics like 'Mr Sandman', 'The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy', and Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen' alongside their own material and very individual renditions of pop classics like 'Walk Like An Egyptian' and Blondie's 'Heart Of Glass'.

A flamenco workshop (21 May) will get you in the mood for that evening's selection of joyous music and dance from The Valencia Flamenco Troupe, who arrive in north Norfolk direct from Valencia's renowned Café del Duende, the city's 'temple' for aficionados of this much loved Spanish art form.

Newly announced classical music includes the exciting pairing of rising new Mezzo Soprano Charlotte Tetley and Japanese born virtuoso pianist Maki Sekiya (21 July). They will take the audience on a musical tour through Europe, Russia, Japan and the UK with virtuoso piano solos by Tchaikovsky and Debussy and arias by Rossini and Bizet. Meanwhile The Kosmos Ensemble (23 July) redefine the relationship between classical and world music. Their unique programmes, inspired by music from all around the globe, see wild Gypsy fiddling rubbing against classical composers such as Brahms and Sarasate and taking in emotive Jewish and Greek music, hot-blooded tangos and interpretations of Japanese and Polish songs. This will be their first time in Holt following outstanding appearances at London's Southbank Centre and Institute of Contemporary Arts, Leeds International Concert Season and live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM

Music of a very different kind comes from Norfolk's own Holly Lerski (20 July). The honey voiced former Angelou leader and singer-songwriter releases her latest album in June and her appearance in Holt will be a rare opportunity to see her in the county as she embarks on a national tour of summer festivals.

Talks & Literature
An increasingly popular strand of the Holt Festival is the programme of talks and conversations by people who are leading authorities in their field. Behavioural neurologist Professor Michael Trimble, an expert on the relationship between music and the brain, is joined by composer and Radio 3 broadcaster Michael Berkeley to explore our emotional responses to music (22 July). They will measure the audience's emotional response to different types of music in what is sure to be an enlightening and entertaining event. Emotion is also at the heart of Poems that Make Grown Men Cry (22 July) as Sir John Hurt and John Harrison introduce poems from the anthology of the same name by Tony Holden and Son - will there be a dry eye in the house?

Chairman of Penguin Ransom House John Makinson shares his informed and perceptive view of the value of the creative sector to the UK (20 July) and Norfolk-based award winning writer and conservationist Simon Barnes talks about the astonishing variety of life to be found in Norfolk and the importance of maintaining our natural habitats (23 July). Author and former Guardian crime correspondent Duncan Campbell will look at the world of the crime reporter and why we have such an enduring fascination with crime (21 July).

Visual Art
The annual Holt Art Prize has just been announced and once again many of the town's art galleries will be taking part in the art-trail. There are two great free art exhibitions, with works drawn from public and private collections, running throughout the Festival. Pop Goes Art is a celebration of Pop Art featuring 1960's and 70's works drawn mainly from private collections. It includes sixties drawings by David Hockney never exhibited in the UK before and rarely seen 60's drawings by Peter Blake. Together with works by Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Allen Jones, Colin Self, Patrick Caulfield and Gilbert & George this is a must see show for fans of modern art. Meanwhile Bloomsbury brings together original works from the evocative Bloomsbury group, centred on Duncan Grant and his friends.

There's also a Fringe programme that includes a talk from Radio 4's Reverend Richard Coles about his remarkable life that has taken him from chart topping pop stardom with The Communards to his present position as Britain's most famous vicar, and beloved host of Radio 4's Saturday Live.

Charles Pugh said 'I'm proud of all the programme, but some personal favourites include Lorraine & Alan which is so vivid I thought I could smell the sea off Blakeney Point, The Puppini Sisters which is for who like close harmony this is a must. But also for those who like sassy stylish theatricality laced with glamour and humour - not to mention a fashion parade. Cirque du Cabaret is definitely naughty yet definitely nice and I have chosen to sponsor The Spruce Goose myself as, in my opinion this piece of new writing has all the old fashioned virtues of gimmick free drama; compelling dialogue, strong characterisation and above all a terrific story entertainingly told.

Chair of the Board of Trustees Adney Payne added 'This is the seventh year of the Holt Festival and it's exciting to have a new artistic director Charles Pugh. Charles has put together a wonderful programme that builds on the successes of the past while introducing new innovations. I would like to thank him, along with the committee, supporters and volunteers for the time and hard work they put into making the Holt Festival what it is. Also, in particular, thanks must go to Gresham's School and the Holt Parish Church for the support they provide to us.'

Tickets for the new shows are on sale now via 01603 598699 or for details of all these and other Holt Festival events, and to book, visit www.holtfestival.org <http://www.holtfestival.org>

Full Listings:
Saturday 18 July FREE
REV RICHARD COLES 'From Pop to Pulpit' (Festival fringe) (talk)
Britain's best loved media vicar, also former pop star (The Communards), presenter of BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live, and prolific tweeter, looks back at his colourful and eventful life in an entertaining and thoughtful evening.
Holt Festival at St Andrew's Church, Church Street, Holt NR25 6BB

Sunday 19 July 8pm £22
THE PUPPINI SISTERS (music)
Effortless harmonies from renowned stylish trio who add a modern twist to 1940s swing and a retro charm to modern pop.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Monday 20 July 4pm £10
JOHN MAKINSON (talk)
With a career spanning journalism, investor relations and two years as managing director of the Financial Times, Chairman of Penguin Random House John Makinson shares his informed and perceptive view of the value of the creative sector to the UK.
Holt Festival at the Lawns Hotel, Station Road, Holt, NR25 6BS

Monday 20 July 8pm £22
DR. JOHN COOPER CLARKE with special guest MARTIN NEWELL (poetry)
The original punk poet, comedian, movie radio and rock star. TV and radio presenter, social and cultural commentator and legend, the bard of Salford is joined by Essex's inspirational wordsmith Newell.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Monday 20 July 9pm £5 (on the door)
HOLLY LERSKI (gig/music)
Achingly gorgeous vocals and memorable catchy tunes from Norfolk based former Angelou singer songwriter showcasing songs from her new album as well as playing old favourites.
Holt Festival at the Lawns Hotel, Station Road, Holt, NR25 6BS

Tuesday 21 July 2pm £15
TOM PARKER BOWLES & LOYD GROSSMAN (talk)
Original Masterchef presenter, entrepreneur, writer and all round foodie in conversation with Mail on Sunday and Esquire restaurant critic. Culinary chat from two of the UK's best-known food experts.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Tuesday 21 July 4pm £10
DUNCAN CAMPBELL (talk)
Former Guardian crime correspondent and author of The Underworld on the world of the crime reporter and why we have such an enduring fascination with crime.
Holt Festival at the Lawns Hotel, Station Road, Holt, NR25 6BS

Tuesday 21 July 6pm £15
CHARLOTTE TETLEY AND MAKI SEKIYA (classical music)
Japanese virtuoso pianist Sekiya and mezzo soprano Tetley perform internationally recognised classics including piano solos by Tchaikovsky and Debussy and arias by Rossini and Bizet.
Holt Festival at St Andrew's Church, Church Street, Holt NR25 6BB

Tuesday 21 July 9pm £20
THE VALENCIA FLAMENCO TROUPE (music/dance)
Enjoy the drama and passion of this traditional Spanish dance with musicians and dancers from Valencias leading flamenco venue the Café del Duendo.
Holt Festival at Holt Community Centre, Kerridge Way, Holt NR25 6DN

Tuesday 21 July 9pm £16
JIMMY MCGHIE, KEVIN SHEPHERD, PIERRE NOVELLIE AND MAFF BROWN (comedy)
Acclaimed London comedians.
Holt Festival at the Feathers Hotel, Market Place, Holt NR25 6BW

Wednesday 22 July 2pm £15
PROF MICHAEL TRIMBLE AND MICHAEL BERKELEY: The Act of Creation: How Composers Create Emotion (talk/classical music)
Emeritus Professor Michael Trimble and composer and Radio 3 presenter Michael Berkeley explore our emotional responses to music. With musical accompaniment by Charlotte Tetley and Maki Sekiya and audience participation to measure emotional response.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Wednesday 22 July 4pm £10
TONY HOLDEN AND SON (with Sir John Hurt): Poems that Make Grown Men Cry (poetry)
With John Harrison and readings by Sir John Hurt. Poems about love, mortality, loss and the beauty of nature are included in this anthology of poems that have made grown men cry.
Holt Festival at the Lawns Hotel, Station Road, Holt, NR25 6BS

Wednesday 22 July 6pm £20
MARIANO MANGAS (classical music) UK Premiere
One of the world's greatest classical guitarists, a professor of the instrument in his native Spain and Chair of Flamenco at the Conservatory of Rotterdam. He comes to Holt for his very first UK appearance following performances all over mainland Europe and the USA.
Holt Festival at St Andrew's Church, Church Street, Holt NR25 6BB

Wednesday 22 July 8pm £25
BLAKE (classical music/opera)
Brit Award winning harmony trio singing eclectic classical music and pop songs. They have sold over a million albums, topped classical charts around the world and appeared on more than 150 TV shows worldwide.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Thursday 23 July 2pm £15
MICHAEL BUERK & ERNIE REA: From Jehovah to Jihadi John - a discussion (talk)
One of the UK's best known broadcast journalists and writers, Buerk has won a multitude of awards for international TV reporting. He will discuss Islamic fundamentalism with radio presenter and former BBC head of religious broadcasting Rae.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Thursday 23 July 4pm £15
SIMON BARNES: Biodiversity in Norfolk (talk)
Award-winning writer and conservationist Simon Barnes talks the astonishing variety of life to be found in Norfolk and the importance of maintaining our natural habitats.
Holt Festival at the Lawns Hotel, Station Road, Holt, NR25 6BS

Thursday 23 July 6.30 pm £15
KOSMOS ENSEMBLE (classical music)
Kosmos redefines the relationship between classical and world music. With dazzling virtuosity and impeccable musicianship they glide seamlessly from wild Gypsy fiddling and hot blooded tango to interpretations of Japanese and Polish songs.
Holt Festival at St Andrew's Church, Church Street, Holt NR25 6BB

Thursday 23 July 9pm £22
CIRQUE DU CABARET (cabaret)
Bespoke Burlesque cabaret show from London's premier cabaret company created especially for Holt Festival. Circus skills, burlesque striptease and live music and performers hailing from Moscow to Hull!
Holt Festival at Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Friday 24 July 2pm £15
DAME STELLA RIMINGTON in conversation (talk/literature)
The first female Director General of MI5, now a successful novelist, talks about her creative life and career with Daily Telegraph critic Jake Kerridge.
Holt Festival at the Lawns Hotel, Station Road, Holt, NR25 6BS

Friday 24 July 4pm £20
JENNY ECLAIR AND MARGARET HODGE (talk)
The inimitable comedienne Jenny Eclair and MP for Barking Margaret Hodge in a unique conversation. Discussing people, politics, power, petticoats, performance and passion, growing old gracefully or disgracefully and the challenge of carving out careers in fields where women were rare and men often try to wield inappropriate power.
Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Friday 24 July 6pm £20
THE SPRUCE GOOSE (theatre)
Set in 1947, the year Howard Hughes' eponymous airplane made its first and only flight. A Hollywood film director faces the challenge of his career when what he considers to be his latest masterpiece is slammed by the studio executives.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Friday 24 July 9pm £18
GENO WASHINGTON and the Yos Yos (gig/music)
Living legend and the UK's godfather of soul, rhythm and blues brings his world class show to Norfolk.
Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Saturday 25 July 4pm £20
BLOFELD & BAXTER: Rogues on the Road (talk)
Globetrotting reminiscences and hilarious (occasionally outrageous) anecdotes from belovedly bubbly and boisterous Test Match Special commentator Blowers and his long time (and long suffering) producer Baxter.
Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Saturday 25 July 6pm £20
HELLO MR GERSHWIN (musical theatre) World Premiere
World premiere of a brand new musical from Seastar. A musical journey through George Gershwin's remarkable life and tragically early death, featuring British pianist and composer Michael Finnissy's arrangements, a jazz band and a cast of rising stars from the top conservatoires, devised and directed by composer and director Susie Self.
Holt Festival at Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Saturday 25 July 9pm £30
STEVE HARLEY & Cockney Rebel (gig/music)
Pop music pioneer Steve Harley has written and recorded eleven albums in a prolific career covering four decades. He has enjoyed chart success with Top 20 hits including Judy Teen, Mr Soft, Mr Raffles, 'Here Comes The Sun' and the number 1 Make Me Smile (Come Up & See Me).
Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Sunday 26 July 4pm £15
JEFFREY ARCHER: Life, Literature & Politics (literature/talk)
Lord Archer is the author of 33 published books which have sold over 270 million copies in 97 countries and been translated into 37 languages. The former MP and Chair of The Conservative Party will talk about his extraordinary life, his books and his career in politics and invite questions from the audience.
Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Sunday 26 July 6pm £20
LORRAINE & ALAN (theatre)
Original, award-winning, playful re-telling of the Scottish Selkie myth set on the North Norfolk coast featuring live sound design and several hundred plastic bottles. A Marine Biology graduate falls in love with a mysterious young woman he discovers lying amongst the seals and their lives become irreversibly entwined.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Sunday 26 July 8pm £25
STEELEYE SPAN (gig/folk music)
Folk rock pioneers with a new live show. Singer Maddy Prior leads a line-up featuring faces old and new performing the classics that established their reputation alongside newer songs from their 2014 album Wintersmith, a collaboration with Sir Terry Pratchett.
Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA


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