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Preview and photo gallery: Holt Festival brings together The Strangers, Ade Edmondson, Roy Hattersley and Gainsborough in heady mix

PUBLISHED: 17:38 05 June 2014

Holt Festival 2014 - Les Cubitenistes street theatre

Holt Festival 2014 - Les Cubitenistes street theatre


It is an event that is stirring a mix of punk, drama, cabaret, classical music and street fun into a heady cocktail of entertainment.

Holt Festival highlights

Saturday, July 19

■ Kit and McConnel – Kit Hesketh-Harvey and James McConnel return, fresh from sell-out shows at the Albert Hall with new songs laced with humour and ridicule. Auden Theatre, 8pm.

■ Egypt Through The Artist’s Eye – loan exhibition of paintings and ancient artefacts with original film and rare recordings of Norfolk’s Howard Carter, St Andrew’s Church, 11am-5pm until Sunday, July 27.

Sunday, July 20

■ Free Street festival (family) – free street theatre, circus and comedy from the UK and France. Various town centre locations, noon to 4pm.

■ Calefax: The Roaring Twenties – Dutch reed quintet, and festival favourites, return with mezzo-soprano Cora Burggraaf playing the delightful music of the roaring twenties. St Andrew’s Church, 7pm.

Monday, July 21

■ Antony Lentin is interviewed about his book that re-examines whether Overstrand man Sir Edgar Speyer was a spy. Lawns Hotel, Station Road. 2.30pm

■ The Bloody Ballad – Gagglebabble – The Brothers Grimm meet Tarantino in a brutal love story between two lost souls set around a dead-end town in 1950s America. Auden Theatre, 7pm

Tuesday, July 22

■ Roy Hattersley – former Labour deputy leader discusses his book on The Devonshires, a jaunty story about Britishness through the ages. Auden Theatre, 2pm.

■ Meow Meow – kamikaze cabaret, a parody of glitz and high art featuring music, politics, mayhem and magnificence. Auden Theatre, 9.30pm.

Wednesday, July 23

■ David Starkey – The Tudors and Us – outspoken historian, lecturer and broadcaster Starkey talks about the period he describes as “a glorious soap opera”. Auden Theatre, 2.30pm

■ Melanie Pappenheim, Sophie Harris and Ian Belton – the trio perform works specially written for them, including a UK Premier of An Eagle Darkens the Sky. Parish church 6.30pm.

Thursday, July 24

■ Rafaella Barker whose new novel is From a Distance, in conversation with actress Diana Quick. Lawns Hotel, 2pm.

■ Sarah Jane Morris – jazz soul singer known for her work with The Communards, performs hits and tracks from hew new album, Bloody Rain. At the Auden Theatre, 7pm.

Friday, July 25

■ Stand-up Comedy 4 Kids – some of the best comedians leave out the rude bits in a show for children of all ages. Gresham’s Prep School Hall 2.30pm.

■ Rich Hall’s Hoedown – American comedian, writer and musician shows the musical side of his renowned grouchy, deadpan style. Theatre in the Woods, 9pm.

Saturday, July 26

■ Sandi Toksvig – comedian, broadcaster and prolific writer in conversation with Chris Gribble, chief executive of Writers Centre. Theatre in the Woods, 4pm.

■ The Bad Shepherds – Ade Edmondson and his band of musicians reinvent punk classics with folk instrumentation. Theatre in the Woods, 8pm.

Sunday, July 27

■ Melvin Bragg and Richard Dawkins – conversation on beliefs between the broadcaster and the world famous aetheist scientist. Theatre in the Woods, 4pm.

■ The Stranglers – one of the originators from the punk generation feature favourites from over four decades. Theatre in the Woods, 9pm.

Holt Festival last night unveiled its full line-up for a week in July.

The star names include punk band The Stranglers on their 40th anniversary tour, comics Rich Hall and Ade Edmondson, broadcasters Sandi Toksvig and Melvyn Bragg – along with former Labour deputy leader Roy Hattersley.

Art displays include original work from household names such as Gainsborough, Matisse, Munnings, Epstein, and Rodin.

Local acting legend John Hurt will take part in an experimental work where he delivers a piece of theatre, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, which is delivered unrehearsed by a different actor every time, who has never seen the script before.

The Stranglers who will be playing at the Holt Festival. The Stranglers who will be playing at the Holt Festival.

Ade Edmondson’s appearance is with the Bad Shepherds band, with their interpretations of punk and new wave anthems in folk influenced style.

Writer comedian and radio and TV broadcaster Sandi Toksvig is in conversation with Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of Writers’ Centre Norwich.

Melvyn Bragg goes head to head with committed atheist, evolutionary biologist, and writer Richard Dawkins – a man voted the world’s top thinker – in a debate on religion and beliefs.

Roy Hattersley talks about his history of the Devonshires of Chatsworth Hall, a family whose fortunes often mirrored the life of the nation, with former ITN Political Editor Michael Brunson. Acclaimed actress Diana Quick interviews novelist Raffaella Barker, one of Britain’s favourite chroniclers of family life.

Holt Festival 2014 - Roy Hattersley Holt Festival 2014 - Roy Hattersley

Anthony Lentin discusses his book about Sir Edgar Speyer, accused of being a German spy at Overstrand during the First World War.

There is also family fun with an afternoon of free street entertainment from top acts from across the Uk and France – and even a stand-up comedy session for children.

Festival director Delaval Astley said: “I think we’ve managed to make the festival as broad in scope as it has ever been. This year we have even more events than in any previous year and a programme that promises to attract the largest audience yet.”

For more information visit

For your guide to events in Norfolk and Suffolk, visit the Going Out section of our website

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