Proclaimers, Sir John Major and Germaine Greer in Holt Festival summer line-up

Holt Festival - The Proclaimers

Holt Festival - The Proclaimers - Credit: Archant

Two world premières, a visit from a former prime minister and a free day of international street entertainment are among the highlights unveiled for this summer's Holt Festival.

Holt Festival - Lady Rizo

Holt Festival - Lady Rizo - Credit: Archant

Other top attractions include feminist Dr Germaine Greer, world-class visual art from Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, and music from the Proclaimers.

Sir John Major - appearing at Holt Festival 2013 to talk about his new book

Sir John Major - appearing at Holt Festival 2013 to talk about his new book - Credit: Archant

The fifth festival, which runs from July 20-27, last night revealed its full line-up of music, drama, art, dance, comedy and family entertainment.

It includes a first ever commission – a new work by leading British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, which will be performed by the Delta Saxophone Quartet contemporary music ensemble.

Festival-goers will also see the first performance of The Events, a new play by David Greig centred on atrocity and involving a specially-formed Holt choir to add to the soundtrack. The Actors Touring Company production will later take the show on a UK tour.

Big names include Sir John Major in conversation about his new book My Old Man, a history of British Music Hall, where his father was an entertainer, and Germaine Greer, exploring 'the disappearing woman' in today's society.

The Proclaimers bring their edgy but singalong songs, and Rich Hall his hangdog humour, to the Theatre in the Woods at Gresham's school.

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A new full day of free family entertainment all over the town includes a range idiosyncratic performers such as the incredible Insect Circus Museum, Mystérieuse Coiffures, Gandini Juggling, and Chefs des Chansons.

Other main acts include New York cabaret star Lady Rizo, Australian circus company Casus, a switching of Donizetti's comic opera L'Elisir d'Amore to 1950s Hollywood, along with a Britten Sinfonia concert, part of the centenary celebrations of the renowned composer Benjamin Britten who went to school at Gresham's in Holt.

Children's and family events include Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and his Singing Tiger. Art shows include works by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth and a trail taking in 13 local galleries.

Festival director Delaval Astley said it had 'pushed its ambitions yet a little further' with its two premières, and he hoped to fill the town with the free festival.

Festival chairman Adney Payne added the programme brought 'a brilliant blend of local, regional national and international performers to create a world class event for the town.'

For details of events and to book visit

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