Elkie Brooks to headline Holt Festival

Richard BatsonSinger Elkie Brooks is headlining the first ever Holt Festival which is being staged this summer. The performer, whose career spans five decades and more than a million record sales, will be the closing act for the week-long event.Richard Batson

Singer Elkie Brooks is headlining the first ever Holt Festival which is being staged this summer.

The performer, whose career spans five decades and more than a million record sales, will be the closing act for the week-long event.

Elkie, who was born Elaine Bookbinder in Salford, Manchester 64 years ago, and sang jazz and blues from the age of 15, found fame when Pearl's a Singer made the chart top 10 in 1977.

She went on to star alongside Robert Palmer in the rock band Vinegar Joe, but is best known for her smooth solo singles such as Lilac Wine, and Sunshine After the Rain - which organisers will be hoping is also the weather forecast for the open air Theatre in the Woods concert at Gresham's School on Saturday August 8.

Organisers have now revealed the full line-up of the week, starting on August 3, when Holt will play host to a range of other entertainment which chairman and artistic director Tony Britten has said was aimed at providing an eclectic mix with something for most people.

After gathering �20,000 of funding to get the festival off the ground, they have been keen to not be seen as exclusive.

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Other acts include:

a stage show about the music hall star Marie Lloyd;

a literary lunch with 90-year-old author Diana Athill hosted by former ITN political editor Michael Brunson;

classical and jazz music;

an opera group which performs all over the town;

a visiting Insect Circus museum truck, featuring dancing snails and a wasp tamer;

an art bus with Sir Peter Blake, the 'Godfather of Pop Art' on board;

a contemporary dance group;

Norfolk poets Esther Morgan and Kevin Crossley-Holland;

a stand-up comedy night in a local pub;

photographic exhibition;

family and children's events.

A festival box office is based at Cockertons chartered surveyors at 1a Market Place, from 10.30am-2pm Monday to Saturday. For other information call 01263 712635, or visit www.holtfestival.org