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Jasper Carrot, Anne Widdecomb, Leo Sayer, the Nimmo Twins and Gloria Campaner among the many guests planned for the Holt Festival 2018

Gloria Campaner will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVAL

Gloria Campaner will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVAL

Archant

An Italian concert pianist, several outspoken politicians and a much-loved comedy duo will be among the guests at the 10th annual Holt Festival.

Lisa Cassidy will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVALLisa Cassidy will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVAL

The July festival will feature a diverse range of events covering theatre, music, comedy, literature, talks, children’s and visual arts, under the guidance of new artistic director, Stash Kirkbride.

Mr Kirkbride said the nine-day event was shaping up to be truly something to remember.

He said: “It is said that if a festival can make it to its 10th year then it has truly arrived, and having long admired the achievements of Holt Festival I am thrilled and honoured to be invited to assemble the 2018 programme.

“I hope it does justice to the fabulous legacy left by my predecessors Tony Britten, Delaval Astley and Charles Pugh.”

Norwich Puppet Theatre's The Steadfast Tin Soldier will be among the acts at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: ANDISAPEYNorwich Puppet Theatre's The Steadfast Tin Soldier will be among the acts at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: ANDISAPEY

Comedy duo the Nimmo twins will put on their popular Normal for Norfolk show on Norfolk Day itself, July 27.

Fellow funnyman Jasper Carrott, who had to cancel an appearance last year because of heart surgery, will be back in fine fettle for this year’s festival.

Italian concert pianist Gloria Campaner will be there for two exclusive concerts, while ‘in conversation’ events with Lord Paddy Ashdown, former home secretary Alan Johnson and Anne Widdecombe will make up the political side of the proceedings.

Other classical highlights will include a concert by one of the UK’s leading tenors James Gilchrist and another by Norwich soprano Lisa Cassidy.

Norwich Puppet Theatre's The Steadfast Tin Soldier will be among the acts at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: ANDISAPEYNorwich Puppet Theatre's The Steadfast Tin Soldier will be among the acts at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: ANDISAPEY

Chart topper Leo Sayer will also perform, as will the rock, funk and blues band Tankus The Henge.

The powerful vocals and instrumental prowess of Anna Mudeka will showcase the musical tradition of Zimbabwe in a Music of Our Ancestors show, and the Jo Harrop Jazz Quintet will perform songs from sultry songstress Peggy Lee.

For youngsters, Norwich Puppet Theatre is bringing The Steadfast Tin Soldier, a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s poetic story for three-to-eight year olds.

There will also be an exhibition of the paintings of Sir John Hurt, along with screenings of some of his films.

Tankus the Henge will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVALTankus the Henge will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVAL

The festival runs from July 21 to 29. Plenty of other events are also planned, find this story on this newspaper’s website or visit www.holtfestival.org for a full programme.

Holt Festival 2018 full listings:

Alan Johnson will be among the guests at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVALAlan Johnson will be among the guests at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVAL

Saturday 21 – Monday 23 July 10am to 5pm FREE

HOLT FESTIVAL OPEN STUDIOS (exhibition)

The Festival’s inaugural open studios where artists living within a 15-mile radius of Holt open their doors to the public.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre Foyer, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Tom Baxter will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVALTom Baxter will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVAL

Saturday 21 - Sunday 29 July 11am to 7.30pm FREE

JOHN HURT as Artist (exhibition)

A rare opportunity to see paintings by actor Sir John Hurt who drew and painted throughout his life and brought the same creativity and brilliance to being an artist as he did to being an actor.

Matt Wadsworth will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVALMatt Wadsworth will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED BY HOLT FESTIVAL

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre Foyer Mezzanine, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Saturday 21 - Sunday 29 July 11am to 5pm FREE

BLITHE SPIRIT: The Blythe Estuary – A Creative Haven (exhibition)

Matt Wates will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: TATIANA GORILOVSKYMatt Wates will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: TATIANA GORILOVSKY

Unpublished love letters from George Orwell to Eleanor Jacques in Southwold, giving real insight into his character, are displayed alongside art work by Philip Wilson Steer, Sir Stanley Spencer, Margaret Mellis and other well-known artist connected to this part of Suffolk.

Holt Festival at The Garden House Studio, Station Road, Holt NR25 6BS

Saturday 21 - Sunday 29 July 11am to 5pm FREE

Anna Mudera will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: RICHARD SHASHAMANEAnna Mudera will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: RICHARD SHASHAMANE

HEAD TO HEAD: Dora Gordine, Jacob Epstein & Contemporaries (exhibition)

Exhibition illustrating the Picasso led movement between the wars, away from traditional Roman and Greek influences, towards the exotic.

Holt Festival at The Meeting Room, St Andrew’s Church, Church Street, Holt NR25 6BB

The Nimmo Twins will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: DAVE GUTTRIDGE THE PHOTOGRAPHICThe Nimmo Twins will be among the performers at this year's Holt Festival. Picture: DAVE GUTTRIDGE THE PHOTOGRAPHIC

Sunday 22 – Sunday 29 July 11am to 7.30pm FREE

SIR JOHN HURT ART PRIZE EXHIBITION (exhibition)

The winner and all the shortlisted entries from this prestigious art prize chosen by judges Eileen Cooper RA, Robert Upstone and Lady Hurt. The winner receives £1,500 and will be shown at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre Foyer, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Saturday 21 - Sunday 29 July 11am to 5pm FREE

FESTIVAL ART TRAIL (exhibition)

Discover an eclectic variety of historic, modern and contemporary art and photography at Holt’s many art galleries.

Holt Festival at various galleries around Holt town centre

Sunday 22 July 8pm £22/£5

ELÈGIE: Rachmaninoff - A Heart in Exile (classical music/theatre)

A ‘Composer Portrait’ scripted by pianist Lucy Parham chronicling the life of Sergei Rachmaninoff, narrated and read by renowned TV, film and stage actor Alex Jennings.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Monday 23 10am-10.30am, under 7s FREE

CHILDREN’S STORYTELLING: Amy Finegan (childrens)

Stories, games and songs to entertain under 7s.

Holt Festival at The Holt Book Shop, 10 Appleyard Holt NR25 6AR

Monday 23 July 2pm £18/£5

ALAN JOHNSON in conversation with Becky Jago (talk)

Former politician and award-winning author and broadcaster Alan Johnson talks to ITV News Anglia broadcaster Beck Jago about his life and career.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Monday 23 July 4pm £12/£5

ANNA MUDEKA: Music of our Ancestors (music)

Anna Mudeka’s powerful vocals and instrumental artistry bring alive the rich musical tradition of Zimbabwe.

Holt Festival at Holt Community Centre, Kerridge Way, Holt NR25 6DN

Monday 23 July 6pm £22/£5

‘Shall I Strive with Words to Move’ Music of Dowland, Britten and Purcell

JAMES GILCHRIST: Tenor with MATT WADSWORTH: Lute and theorbo (classical music)

The music of Dowland, Britten and Purcell, sung by one of the UK’s leading tenors, accompanied by Matt Wadsworth on lute and theorbo.

Holt Festival at St Andrew’s Church, Church Street, Holt NR25 6BB

Monday 23 July 9pm £20/£5

PAMELA SHAW Naughty (comedy/cabaret)

Australian cabaret sensation Pamela Shaw comes direct to Holt from New York with her irreverent, sassy and funny new show. This musical mélange includes songs by Tim Minchin, Lennon/McCartney and Rickie Lee Jones, fused with pop, blues and contemporary Broadway.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Tuesday 24 10am-10.30am, under 7s FREE

CHILDREN’S STORYTELLING: Amy Finegan (childrens)

Stories, games and songs to entertain under 7s.

Holt Festival at The Holt Book Shop, 10 Appleyard Holt NR25 6AR

Tuesday 24 July 2pm £20/£5

LINDA MARLOW Berkoff’s Women (theatre)

Linda Marlow, long-time collaborator of Stephen Berkoff, explores sensuality, revenge, pathos, heart-breaking loneliness and riotous humour through a compilation of some of the most rewarding and exciting female roles.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Tuesday 24 July 4pm £18/£5

BOB KINGDOM: The Truman Capote Talk Show (theatre)

Truman Capote, social butterfly, gossipmonger and faded novelist, is brought dramatically to life in Bob Kingdom’s brilliant award-winning one man show.

Holt Festival at Holt Community Centre, Kerridge Way, Holt NR25 6DN

Tuesday 24 July 6pm £18/£5

THE HUMAN VOICE/LA VOIX HUMANE (theatre/music)

Jean Cocteau’s compelling exploration of human frailty and love with actress Tracey Catchpole and soprano Lisa Cassidy. The scenario is a woman’s phone call to her lover. The first half is The Human Voice, performed in English, and the second Francis Poulenc’s one act opera, performed in French.

Holt Festival at the Britten Building, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Tuesday 24 July 8.15pm £25/£5

COLIN CLOUD (theatre)

Acclaimed stage mentalist/mind reader likened to the Sherlock Holmes of entertainment performs his new PSYCHO (Logical) show.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Wednesday 25 10am-10.30am, under 7s FREE

CHILDREN’S STORYTELLING: Amy Finegan (childrens)

Stories, games and songs to entertain under 7s.

Holt Festival at The Holt Book Shop, 10 Appleyard Holt NR25 6AR

Wednesday 25 July 11am-12noon, ages 3 - 8 FREE

NORWICH PUPPET THEATRE: The Steadfast Tin Soldier (childrens)

A playful retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s poetic story, using light, projected animations and simple materials to create a magical theatrical experience.

Holt Festival at Holt Community Centre, Kerridge Way, Holt NR25 6DN

Wednesday 25 July 2pm £18/£5

LORD ASHDOWN (talk)

Former Liberal Democrats leader in conversation with BBC Radio Norfolk’s Nick Conrad about his varied career and more.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Wednesday 25 July 4pm £8

SIR JOHN HURT FILM: The Hit (18) & Q+A with Anwen Hurt (film)

A mini season of the late Sir John Hurt’s favourite films curated by his wife Anwen.

Ex-gangster Willie Parker betrayed his former colleagues and now lives in Spain where he thinks he can hide from their vengeance. Ten years later he is kidnapped and escorted to Paris to stand trial.

Holt Festival at Britten Building, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Wednesday 25 July 6pm £18/£5

DYLAN THOMAS: RETURN JOURNEY by BOB KINGDOM (theatre)

Critically acclaimed one man show (originally directed by Anthony Hopkins) following Dylan Thomas on his last great lecture tour en route to the White Horse Tavern.

Holt Festival at St Andrew’s Church, Church Street, Holt NR25 6BB

Wednesday 25 July 7.30pm £18/£5

TANKUS THE HENGE + SKYHOOK (music)

Combining wild showmanship and musical dexterity, Tankus the Henge’s sound incorporates rock, funk, blues, ska, roots and gypsy rhythms. Support band Skyhook’s guitar driven rock ‘n’ roll moves from soaring anthems to fragile ballads.

Holt Festival at Holt Community Centre, Kerridge Way, Holt NR25 6DN

Thursday 26 10am-10.30am, under 7s FREE

CHILDREN’S STORYTELLING: Amy Finegan (childrens)

Stories, games and songs to entertain under 7s.

Holt Festival at The Holt Book Shop, 10 Appleyard Holt NR25 6AR

Thursday 26 July 10am-4pm, ages 8 to 16 FREE

PLAY IN A DAY with Sheringham Little Theatre (childrens)

Drama workshop for young people to create an original piece of theatre to share with friends and family at the end of the day.

Holt Festival at Gresham’s Pre-Prep School, Market Place, Holt NR25 6BB

Thursday 26 July 2pm £18/£5

ANNE WIDDECOMB in conversation with Nina Nannar, ITV News (talk)

The outspoken and controversial former politician and Strictly Come Dancing contestant talks to Nina Nannar about her life.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Thursday 26 July 4pm £8

SIR JOHN HURT FILM: The Field (12) & Q+A with Anwen Hurt (film)

A mini season of the late Sir John Hurt’s favourite films curated by his wife Anwen.

Bill McCabe is determined to buy the field that his family has farmed for generations, but that means taking on the American stranger who is bidding against him.

Holt Festival at Britten Building, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Thursday 26 July 6pm £15/£5

MATT WATES JAZZBAND with LIZ FLETCHER (music)

Highly accessible modern jazz with an emphasis on melody, groove and tight ensemble work, with guest singer Liz Fletcher.

Holt Festival at Holt Community Centre, Kerridge Way, Holt NR25 6DN

Thursday 26 July 8pm £16/£5

STAND UP COMEDY (comedy)

An evening of top-notch stand up with MC Francis Foster, Helen Bauer, Phil Nichol and Paul F Taylor.

Holt Festival at The Feathers Hotel, Market Place, Holt NR25 6BW

Thursday 26 July 8.15pm £20/£5

JO HARROP JAZZ QUINTET (music)

A celebration of Peggy Lee, the sultriest songstress of them all from a brilliant singer and a very accomplished band.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Friday 27 10am-10.30am, under 7s FREE

CHILDREN’S STORYTELLING: Amy Finegan (childrens)

Stories, games and songs to entertain under 7s.

Holt Festival at The Holt Book Shop, 10 Appleyard Holt NR25 6AR

Friday 27 July 11am- 12noon FREE

COMEDY CLUB 4 KIDS (childrens)

Comedy club for kids, and adults who enjoy a swear-free hour, with the international circuit’s best stand ups and sketch acts.

Holt Festival at Holt Community Centre, Kerridge Way, Holt NR25 6DN

Friday 27 July 12noon £15/£5

GLORIA CAMPANER: Shadows (classical music)

Internationally renowned Italian concert pianist Gloria Campaner dramatically illuminates Scriabin’s Vers la Flamme, followed by Q&A.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Friday 27 July 4pm £15/£5

TS ELIOT’S FOUR QUARTETS: PETER WILSON (poetry/spoken word)

A rare performance of four poems by TS Eliot that offer a meditation on the mysteries of life, the perplexities of loss and longing, and the place of hope in the human heart. Performed by Peter Wilson and followed by a Q&A chaired by Dame Margaret Hodge, DBE.

Holt Festival at St Andrew’s Church, Church Street, Holt NR25 6BB

Friday 27 July 6pm £20/£5

THE NIMMO TWINS (comedy)

Norwich comedy legends Owen Evans and Karl Minns perform their award-winning sketch show The Country Members for their first ever Holt Festival show.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Friday 27 July 8.15pm £20/£5

TOM BAXTER BAND (music)

Co-writer of modern classic ‘Better’ whose songs have been covered by Dame Shirley Bassey, Take That, Boyzone and more.

Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Saturday 28 July 2.30pm £20/£5

JOHN SIMPSON CBE in conversation with Susie Fowler-Watt (talk)

Multi award winning journalist and BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson talks to Susie Fowler-Watt about his illustrious career in international journalism.

Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Saturday 28 July 4pm £8

SIR JOHN HURT FILM: Love and Death on Long Island (15) & Q+A with Anwen Hurt (film)

A mini season of the late Sir John Hurt’s favourite films curated by his wife Anwen.

A reclusive writer becomes obsessed with an American teen idol and eventually pursues him to his Long Island home.

Holt Festival at Britten Building, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Saturday 28 July 6pm £25/£5

TWO PIANOS - HEART OF STONE: Gloria Campaner (Italy) and Leszek Możdżer (Poland) (classical music)

Only planned UK duet concert this year for top international pianists. Prokofiev, Debussy and Chopin to Lutoslawski’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini taking in jazz and more along the way with live visuals/projections.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Saturday 28 July 8.15 pm £30/£5

LEO SAYER (music)

Chart topping singer, songwriter and entertainer romps through a high energy greatest hits set including favourites like Thunder in My Heart, Moonlighting and When I Need You.

Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Sunday 29 July 4pm £18/£5

FRANK GARDNER in conversation with Alex Dunlop, BBC TV News East (talk)

BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner discusses the themes and ideas behind his second novel Ultimatum, the challenges of writing fiction versus non-fiction and his life as a broadcast journalist.

Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Sunday 29 July 7.30pm £30/£5

JASPER CARROTT: STAND UP AND ROCK (comedy)

A unique show that sees the legendary comedian perform his new stand up show before introducing his musical compatriots - an all-star band featuring ELO and The Move’s Bev Bevan that have been ‘rockin’ audiences all over the world.

Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

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