Corn Exchange prepares for ice stars

The Corn Exchange at King's Lynn was today gearing up for an annual ice dancing extravaganza by the world-renowned Russian Ice Stars, with the lengthy and painstaking construction of a rink inside the auditorium.

Signs of spring may be everywhere but a Norfolk entertainment venue will home to a magical ice kingdom over the next few days.

The Corn Exchange at King's Lynn was today gearing up for an annual ice dancing extravaganza by the world-renowned Russian Ice Stars, with the lengthy and painstaking construction of a rink inside the auditorium.

The company's adaptation of J M Barrie's famous story of the boy who never grew up, Peter Pan, opens tomorrow and runs until Sunday.

The process of building the rink began today as two 15m by 15m industrial pool liners were laid on the stage and side supports of wood built to create a large but shallow swimming pool.

Technicians then laid 15km of a special, flexible rubber pipe inside the pool, connecting it to a header system which was in turn linked to two chiller units on the back of a truck.

The floor system was filled with anti-freeze, which was chilled to -15C, making the rubber pipes frost over.

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Four tonnes of crushed ice was then spread over the top, before the rink was sprayed with water every 20-30 minutes, until the ice was seven to eight centimetres thick.

This final part of the process takes 14 to 18 hours.

The Russian Ice Stars have attracted an enthusiastic following since their first visit to Lynn in 2005.

This year's show will transport audiences to a world of make-believe, with the main characters, Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook brought to life against a backdrop of fire, Indian drumming and scene changes from Wendy's bedroom to Hook's secret hideout.

Corn Exchange marketing assistant, Maddie Wearden, said tickets were selling well, with Wednesday's matinee sold out and only a few seats left for Saturday's matinee.

For bookings and more information, contact the box office on 01553 764864.