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Firsts for Holt Festival

The full 10th anniversary programme for Holt Festival 2018 has just been announced.
The festival brings outstanding theatre, music, comedy, literature, talks, children’s and visual art events to the town for eight days, from July 21-29.
For the 10th anniversary year Stash Kirkbride has taken the helm as artistic director, and has delivered a programme that combines the best of national and international talents with the cream of Norfolk performers.
Introducing the programme Stash 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.”
Major new announcements include a Norfolk Day special appearance by the county’s best loved, most popular and rudest(!) comedy duo The Nimmo Twins (pictured). Making their first appearance at the festival the Nimmo’s outrageously hilarious and hugely popular Normal for Norfolk shows have entertained sell-out crowds for over 20 years. Two major exhibitions put Holt firmly on the international art map. A world-first exhibition of the paintings of one of Norfolk’s best loved adopted sons, Sir John Hurt, will show just how accomplished a painter he was. Another exclusive sees letters from George Orwell to his Southwold lover on public display for the first time ever. Leading political figures will also be in Holt to discuss their lives and careers with well known TV and radio presenters.
Box office: 01603 598699 or online at www.holtfestival.org

John Hurt as Artist is the first exhibition anywhere in the world of the late screen legend’s paintings (above). Sir John Hurt painted all his life. Aged 17, he attended The Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art and Design) and in 1959 won a scholarship to St Martin’s School of Art (now Central Saint Martin’s) in London. Most of the paintings in the exhibition have been loaned by his wife, Lady Anwen Hurt, who said: “He took art every bit as seriously as he took his acting career.”

Sheringham theatre’s tribute to movie legend Sir John Hurt

The acting talent of the late legend Sir John Hurt is being celebrated on the community theatre screen which he launched.

Sir John officially opened the digital projection system at Sheringham Little Theatre four years ago.

The actor, who died aged 77 in January lived in North Norfolk and was a supporter of the venue’s film and stage drama work.

During a week starting on Friday (May 26) the theatre will show a short season of some of his best work including an early role in the Tudor classic A Man for All Seasons, and leads in the poignant Elephant Man and spy drama Scandal.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “Sir John was a great supporter of our theatre, and we miss him very much, so we wanted to remember him through screening some of his best films at a place we know he was fond of.”

Sir John visited the venue regularly to chat to the actors appearing in the summer repertory drama season and during a launch event for the local-filmed movie In Love with Alma Cogan, in which he played a theatre manager.

He also played a “part” as the pre-recorded voice of the Magic Mirror in its Snow White pantomime in 2013.

Debbie added: “We are also hoping to display photographs of Sir John during his visits here – and would invite any members of the public who have memories or anecdotes involving Sir John to share them with us in a memory book we have in the foyer.”

Send any pictures or memories to: Sir John Hurt Memories, Sheringham Little Theatre, 2 Station Road, Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8RE or email debbie@sheringhamlittletheatre.com (The theatre cannot return original photographic prints, so please send copies – or scan and email them as 1 to 2MB jpegs).

Tickets for each film are £5 through the box office on 01263 822347, or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

Sir John Hurt showing old and new technology when he launched Sheringham Little Theatre’s new digital projection equipment in May 2013.
PICTURE: RICHARD BATSON

 

 

Art prize renamed in honour of film legend

Holt Festival is paying tribute to actor Sir John Hurt by renaming the art prize competition in his honour. And the Sir John Hurt Art Prize is now open for entries.
The honour has been made to celebrate the screen and stage acting legend, who, before his sad death in January had been a great enthusiast for the prize. He served on the panel of judges and presented the award to the winning entry as often as acting commitments allowed.
The Sir John Hurt Art Prize is open to artists everywhere. In previous years there have been entries by artists from all over the UK. There is a cash prize of £1,500 for the winner and in addition the winning artwork will be exhibited at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in the autumn.
All types of visual art are welcome but entries must be submitted before the deadline of midnight on Sunday, June 18, 2017. Judges will select a shortlist of 25-30 that will be exhibited at the Auden Theatre, Holt from July 23-30. The winner will be announced at a private view on the evening of July 23.

The exhibition is part of the Holt Festival Art Trail that also takes in many other galleries and exhibition spaces around the town.
Last year’s competition once again attracted an extremely high standard of entries with Norfolk artist Lara Cobden winning with her painting The Enchanted Garden, unanimously selected from almost 200 entries.
Alongside his amazing acting career the late Sir John Hurt was a gifted painter. At the age of 17 he attended The Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art and Design) and in 1959, he won a scholarship to Saint Martin’s School of Art (now Central St Martin’s) in London. He continued to paint throughout his life. He was also passionately interested in encouraging others, in recent years becoming Chancellor of Norwich University of The Arts.
Holt Festival Art Prize organiser and international art appraiser James Glennie said: “Holt Festival was keen to acknowledge the support and friendship Sir John offered the festival. It seemed an obvious move to rename the art prize in his honour.”
This year’s judges are well-known modern and contemporary British art specialist Robert Upstone, who spent 23 years as a senior Tate curator, Amanda Geitner, director of The East Anglia Art Fund, and Sainsbury Centre acting deputy director and head of collections Calvin Winner.
Entry forms can be downloaded from www.holtfestival.org <http://www.holtfestival.org>  http://www.holtfestival.org/whats-on/arts-prize/ <http://www.holtfestival.org/whats-on/arts-prize/>

Sir John Hurt is pictured here presenting the Holt Festival art award in 2014 to winner Francesca Perkins.

Special Sheringham showing for locally-made film

A comedy movie shot in North Norfolk, telling how pub regulars pen an erotic novel to save their village inn, is set to be released at cinemas nationwide.
And ChickLit’s writer and director Tony Britten, who lives near Holt, will host a question and answer session after a special screening at Sheringham Little Theatre on September 6.
The film charts how domino-playing pub-goers, including the editor of the local newspaper, set about raising funds to save the closure-threatened watering hole, by trying their hands at writing a Fifty Shades of Grey style “mummy porn” novel.
The Hunny Bell pub at Hunworth, Holt Bookshop, Gresham’s School, Blakeney, Morston, the Muckleburgh Collection at Weybourne, and a Fakenham solicitors’ office all feature in the filming.
The lead male role of paper editor David is played by Christian McKay, who was Lord Hesketh in the motor racing film Rush, with Caroline Catz, the long-suffering wife of Doc Martin, playing his wife Jen.
The cast also includes comedian and actor Miles Jupp, with cameo roles from Norfolk-based acting legend Sir John Hurt and Dame Eileen Atkins as a pair of “dodgy” literary agents.
Chick Lit goes on general release in the first week in September. Sheringham Little Theatre, which previously hosted a preview screening for cast members and guests, has showings at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Tuesday, September 6.
Mr Britten, from Holt-based Capriol films which also made In Love with Alma Cogan based on Cromer Pier, will talk with the audience after the evening screening.
He hatched the Chick Lit idea while visiting younger son Oliver in Los Angeles back in 2011, during a chat about whether a team effort might get around the “solitary exercise” of writing a novel. It led to an idea about the team being pub dominoes players – with Mr Britten being one in real life.
Ollie wrote the initial script and Mr Britten was able to put together a “dream cast”, which also includes Niamh Cusack and Cathy Tyson.
He said: “What we have produced I firmly believe is funny, witty, charming and above all entertaining. It is set in a world I know about because I believe that the best stories originate from one’s own experience.”

To book tickets and for more information call Sheringham Little Theatre on 01263 822347 or visit www.sheringhamlittletheatre.com

The cast filming at Holt Bookshop

The cast filming at Holt Bookshop

John Hurt as agent Francis Bonar

John Hurt as agent Francis Bonar