Holt Festival 2018

Music, chat, comedy and mindreading for North Norfolk’s premier arts festival

The award-winning Holt Festival (21 – 29 July) looks set to celebrate its tenth anniversary in style. In its first decade the festival has rapidly established itself as one of the East of England’s most anticipated events. Each July it brings musicians, poets, actors, dancers, artists and comedians to the charming North Norfolk Georgian country town as well as the crowds who flock in to see them.

Stash Kirkbride has taken the helm as Artistic director for this anniversary year and he has just announced the first ten highlights for the landmark tenth Festival.

Jasper Carrot

One very welcome piece of news is that Jasper Carrott, one of the UK’s favourite comedians, has recovered from the health scare that caused him to cancel last year’s appearance at short notice. Jasper is thrilled to be bringing his new Stand Up & Rock set for the Festival finale on 29 July. This unique show combines a stand up set with an all-star band featuring Bev Bevan, founding member of ELO and The Move, and other midlands music heroes. The Birmingham funnyman said ‘I’m really pleased to be coming to Holt after the unavoidable disappointment of last year’s cancellation. I’ve been told what a lovely setting the Theatre in the Woods is and it’s a thrill to be invited to fill it with laughter and music for the closing concert’. Sure to sell out, early booking is strongly recommended!

Another household name headed for Holt is chart topping singer, songwriter and entertainer Leo Sayer. Leo first hit the charts in 1973 and his ‘Gold Collection’ album returned him there in January 2018. He promises to thrill the Theatre in the Woods audience on Saturday 28 July with a crowd-pleasing romp through his best loved songs.

The Tom Baxter Band, Theatre in the Woods headliners on Friday 27 July may be less well known but Tom’s songs have become part of many people’s lives. His melodic and magical songs have been covered by artists ranging from Dame Shirley Bassey to Take That and Boyzone. Irish top ten hit ‘Better’ has been hailed as a modern classic and his music is on the soundtrack of numerous Hollywood films.

Two Pianos Gloria Campaner, Leszek Mozdzer

Music of a very different kind comes from Two Pianos: Heart of Stone. Italian classical piano megastar Gloria Campaner teams up with Polish jazz star Leszek Możdżer, an internationally renowned musician who has played with the likes of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. The pianists are coming to Holt for their only planned UK collaborative concert this year. Their programme will range from Prokofiev, Debussy and Chopin to Lutoslawski’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini, taking in jazz and more along the way. For this very special one-off concert there will also be live projections and visuals from Italian video designer Luca Scarzella.

Lord Paddy Ashdown

Lord (Paddy) Ashdown became leader of the Liberal Democrats exactly 30 years ago and he comes to Holt as one of the country’s best known and respected political figures. He will be in conversation about a range of topics taking in aspects of his varied career.

Elégie: Rachmaninoff – A Heart in Exile is pianist Lucy Parham’s trailblazing performance in which she fuses music and words to chronicle the life of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Largely scripted from the composer’s letters, Parham will perform Elégie with narration by National Theatre actor (and North Norfolk resident) Alex Jennings, also known for his many TV and film appearances and seen on our screens recently as Prince Leopold in ITV’s Victoria.

One of the UK’s leading tenors, James Gilchrist has performed in major concert halls throughout the world and comes to Holt in the company of Matt Wadsworth (lute and theorbo) to perform ‘Shall I Strive with Words to Move’, the music of Dowland, Britten and Purcell.

There’s a welcome return for Colin Cloud who created such a stir at the 2016 Festival before going on to conquer the Edinburgh Fringe and the 2017 Royal Variety Performance. Cloud has stunned audiences and intrigued skeptics from New York to Las Vegas with his astounding deductions and outrageous stunts. He describes his new show PSYCHO(Logical) as being ‘designed to challenge your perception of the world, the light and the dark.’

Described as ‘The Queen’ by Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee was one of the jazz world’s sultriest singers with songs like ‘Fever’ and ‘Why Don’t you Do Right’. Now the Jo Harrop Jazz Quintet pay tribute with moving renditions of Peggy Lee ballads as well as swinging out on other great songs from the Lee canon. Featuring world-renowned alto saxophonist Tony Kofi as special guest.

The Matt Wates Jazz Band have been around for over 20 years and have recorded 13 records featuring their melody, groove and tight ensemble work. For this Holt concert they will be joined by inventive and original London based singer Liz Fletcher.

2018 Artistic Director Stash Kirkbride said ‘I hope this initial selection of acts gives a taste of our intentions for this year. I have tried to add new elements to the programme while retaining all the ingredients that people have come to expect from this wonderful festival. I can’t wait to tell the world about the full programme in April with more big names to announce alongside acts that I think will become firm favourites in the future’.

Chair of the Festival Trustees Adney Payne added ‘I’d like to express the Festival’s gratitude to Stash for coming up with such a wide and wonderful selection of acts. We can rest assured that the full programme won’t disappoint when revealed in all its glory at the end of April, which will also include international art exhibitions, drama and children’s events’.

Tom Ellis of sponsors Norfolk Country Cottages said ‘We look forward to The Holt Festival with great anticipation each year – both as sponsors and locals. With Stash Kirkbride at the helm, there is an added air of excitement this year. These first announcements outline a programme that is set to truly put North Norfolk and Holt on the cultural map for now and years to come.  Bring it on!

The 2018 Holt Festival runs from 21 – 29 July.

Tickets for the early shows go on sale to Friends, Ambassadors and Sponsors at 9am on 26 February then on general sale on 12 March. For full details of the programme, updates and how to become a Friend, Ambassador or Sponsor of the festival visit www.holtfestival.org
Holt Festival is generously supported by Gresham’s School.

Festival media partners are Eastern Daily Press, North Norfolk News and Future Radio.

Holt Festival 2018

Holt Festival early highlight listings info 2018:

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 July 6pm £22/£5
JAMES GILCHRIST: Tenor with MATT WADSWORTH: Lute and theorbo (classical music)
The music of Dowland, Britten and Purcell, sung by this superlative tenor, accompanied on the lute and theorbo Holt Festival at St Andrew’s Church, Church Street, Holt NR25 6BB

Tuesday 24 July 8.15pm £25/£5
COLIN CLOUD (theatre)
Acclaimed stage mentalist/mind reader likened to the Sherlock Holmes of entertainment.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Wednesday 25 July 2pm £20/£5
Former Liberal Democrats leader in conversation about his varied career and more.
Holt Festival at the Auden Theatre, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA
Thursday 26 July 6pm £20/£5

Sax led melodic jazz with guest singer.
Holt Festival at Holt Community Centre, Kerridge Way, Holt NR25 6DN

Thursday 26 July 8.15pm £20/£5
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

Saturday 28 July 6pm £25/£5
Only planned UK duet concert this year for top international pianists (Italy and Poland). 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/gig)
Chart topping singer, songwriter and entertainer romps through a high energy greatest hits set.
Holt Festival at Theatre in the Woods, Cromer Road, Holt NR25 6EA

Friday 27 July 2pm £20/£5
TOM BAXTER BAND (music/gig)
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

Sunday 29 July 8.15pm £30/£5
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

Box office: 01603 598699 or online at www.holtfestival.org

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