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Happy Days as Suzi Quatro confirmed among headliners ahead of ninth Holt Festival

PUBLISHED: 19:00 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:18 28 February 2017

Happy Days star Suzi Quatro is among the headline acts to appear at the ninth annual Holt Festival. Picture: Holt Festival

Happy Days star Suzi Quatro is among the headline acts to appear at the ninth annual Holt Festival. Picture: Holt Festival

Holt Festival

She has sold millions of records around the world and spent more than 100 weeks in the UK charts alone.

Happy Days star Suzi Quatro is among the headline acts to appear at the ninth annual Holt Festival. Picture: Holt Festival Happy Days star Suzi Quatro is among the headline acts to appear at the ninth annual Holt Festival. Picture: Holt Festival

Now original 70s leather-clad rocker Suzi Quatro is making north Norfolk her number one destination this summer.

The Happy Days actress will perform, along with her seven-piece band, in the haunting surroundings of Theatre in the Woods during the ninth annual Holt Festival this summer.

The headline act was one of a number of highlights to be announced at a special preview event on Monday evening ahead of the full programme for July’s arts extravaganza being unveiled later this year.

Other stars set to appear include TV comedian Jasper Carrott, who will combine a stand up set with a band featuring Bev Bevan, founding member of ELO and The Move alongside other midlands music heroes; classically-trained opera singer Humphrey Berney, from Brit Award winning trio Blake; and Cirque du Cabaret - a mix of circus, burlesque and cabaret that promises to set temperatures rising.

TV comedian Jasper Carrott has had to cancel his appearance at the Holt Festival. Picture: Holt Festival TV comedian Jasper Carrott has had to cancel his appearance at the Holt Festival. Picture: Holt Festival

The award-winning Holt Festival has rapidly established itself as one of the East of England’s most anticipated events.

In the summer months the charming North Norfolk Georgian country town is a magnet for tourists. During Festival week, briefly and dazzlingly, it also becomes home to musicians, poets, actors, dancers, artists and comedians as well as attracting extra cultural tourists into the area. At venues all over the town visitors can catch performances encompassing music, drama, visual art, literature, comedy, kids shows, workshops and more.

2017 is to be the final year of Charles Pugh’s tenure as Artistic Director. “I always intended to step down after three years,” he said. “I hope I have built on the previous successes of the festival and left it in an excellent shape for my successor. But before that I think we have an exceptionally strong line up for this year - these shows are just the first highlights of a festival programme that, in my view, combines the best of national and international talents with some of the very best of our own Norfolk performers.

“Holt Festival will continue to stimulate and entertain as it astonishes and evolves.”

The Cirque du Cabaret is set to raise temperatures. Picture: Holt Festival The Cirque du Cabaret is set to raise temperatures. Picture: Holt Festival

East Anglian and Radio 4 favourites Kit & McConnel return to their favourite festival with a new set of comic cabaret songs. Hugely acclaimed Edinburgh hit Cautionary Tales for Daughters features comic song and animation from the appropriately named Tanya Holt, coming to Norfolk following a sell out London season that delighted audiences and critics alike.

A night of homegrown Americana, Roots in the Wood, will see a double bill of Norfolk heroes The Vagaband and The Wangford Bass Combo featuring BJ Cole, the latest project from the grizzled Godfather of British alt. country Hank Wangford.

Viva Cuba is a night of irrepressible Cuban rhythms, dance and atmosphere from the cream of UK based musicians and dancers – be prepared to get up, join in and learn to dance Cuban style.

And The Ronnie Scott’s Soho Songbook uses world-class live jazz, narration and rare archive images to trace the history of the world famous London jazz club from its humble beginnings as a basement music bar to a venue that hosts international stars. These stars have included Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck and Michael Bublé as well as surprise appearances by the likes of Jamie Cullum, Stevie Wonder and Prince!

Brit Award winner Humphrey Berney. Picture: Holt Festival Brit Award winner Humphrey Berney. Picture: Holt Festival

Talks include former Observer Literary and Associate Editor, Robert McCrum, also an established BBC Radio Four broadcaster and distinguished veteran of the British book world. Robert will discuss matters of life, death and literature, in conversation with Charles Pugh.

Professor Robert Winston is a pioneer of IVF and his work developed surgical techniques that improved fertility treatments for many people. The doctor, scientist, TV and radio presenter and politician comes to Holt to discuss the possibility of human genetic modification and its ethical considerations.

As Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Margaret Hodge was the scourge of waste and inefficiency by successive governments and at the same time she helped to disclose the chicanery of companies out to avoid tax. This is chronicled in her engaging book ‘Called to Account’ with former Norwich Theatre Royal Chief Executive Peter Wilson.

Charles Pugh added: “We have more big names in the pipeline too and I’m already looking forward to announcing the full programme in all its glory in May, which will also include international art exhibitions, drama and children’s events.”

2017 is to be the final year of Charles Pugh’s tenure as Artistic Director. Picture: Holt Festival 2017 is to be the final year of Charles Pugh’s tenure as Artistic Director. Picture: Holt Festival

The 2017 Holt Festival, which is supported by Gresham’s School, runs from July 22 to 30. It is backed by festival media partners the Eastern Daily Press, North Norfolk News and Future Radio.

Tickets for the early shows go on general sale on March 13 following two weeks of priority booking for Friends, Ambassadors and Sponsors. They are available by calling the Box office on 01603 598699. Alternatively, visit http://www.holtfestival.org/

Entry details for the Holt Festival Art Prize, which attracts submissions from far and wide will be announced soon.

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