Holt prepares for August festival

Organisers of the first-ever Holt Festival are getting ready to open the box office as the number of confirmed acts steadily grows.The event, which will run from August 3 until August 8, will combine music, theatre, comedy, art and literature through a mixture of ticketed and free performances.

Organisers of the first-ever Holt Festival are getting ready to open the box office as the number of confirmed acts steadily grows.

The event, which will run from August 3 until August 8, will combine music, theatre, comedy, art and literature through a mixture of ticketed and free performances.

Acts already confirmed include actress Elizabeth Mansfield performing her Olivier-nominated one-woman show Marie, which celebrates the life of music-hall star Marie Lloyd.

Also taking centre stage will be Jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock, classical singers Sophie Bevan and David Stout, contemporary dance group Ace Dance and Music, and vocal group Cantabile, during the six-day festival which will hold performances at the Auden Theatre and Theatre in the Woods at Gresham School.


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The town's three courtyards are due to host some street theatre while poetry readings, storytelling sessions and workshops are also on the cards.

Festival chairman and artistic director Tony Britten said 'The idea is that something will be happening all day and every evening.'

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Despite a slow start, the festival has now secured the �20,000 funding needed to allow the event to go ahead and organisers are now applying for lottery grants to allow them to stage even more.

A literary lunch with Diana Athill and a stand-up evening are also planned. Mr Britten said: 'We hope to have quite decent acts who are on their way to the Edinburgh festival.'

The chairman said, despite some concern from townsfolk that the event would be too 'exclusive', he was confident the line-up would appeal to most people.

He said: 'There is no way we will please everyone, but we are doing our very best to give a truly eclectic programme.'

The festival's box office, based at Cockertons estate agents on Market Place, is due to open in the next few weeks, with the website - www.holtfestival.org - also set to be up and running either later this month or early May.

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