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Former bank becomes performing arts venue

PUBLISHED: 14:25 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:22 28 November 2019

Adam Taylor and Freddie Main outside the former Royal Bank of Scotland in King's Lynn which is being turned into a performing arts venue  Picture: Chris Bishop

Adam Taylor and Freddie Main outside the former Royal Bank of Scotland in King's Lynn which is being turned into a performing arts venue Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

A former bank is set to become a new performing arts venue.

Freddie Main, left and Adam Taylor inside the former Royal Bank of Scotland in King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopFreddie Main, left and Adam Taylor inside the former Royal Bank of Scotland in King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

Norwich-based creative hub The Garage is setting up The Workshop in the former Royal Bank of Scotland in New Conduit Street, in the centre of King's Lynn.

The building, opposite the new H&M store, has been empty for 18 months since the RBS branch closed.

Now the property is being converted into a 60-seat theatre in the round, ready for its first production My First Panto: Little Red Riding Hood, which opens in a little over three weeks' time.

Adam Taylor, left and Freddie Main inside the former bank which is set to become a performing arts venue called The Workshop  in King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopAdam Taylor, left and Freddie Main inside the former bank which is set to become a performing arts venue called The Workshop in King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

"It's an incredibly exciting adventure for us," said Adam Taylor, chief executive of The Garage Trust. "We're creating a pop-up in the building ready for our first show, which opens on December 16.

"It's a show designed for the under-sevens. It's under an hour, the children share the space with the performers, they help make cakes for Granny all the way through to helping Old Mother Hood hang up the washing.

"It's designed so they have a really powerful first cultural experience."
The Garage, founded 15 years ago, has already run projects in Lynn, working with the Groundwork Gallery and Shakespeare's Guildhall Trust. It was also part of the summer circus weekend in The Walks.

The former Royal Bank of Scotland on New Conduit Street, in King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopThe former Royal Bank of Scotland on New Conduit Street, in King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

Once the panto season ends, on December 29, The Workshop will remain in Lynn as a performance space.

Freddie Main, The Workshop's participation program manager, said: "Following the panto we'll have a range of classes for people to try, not forgetting our intervention programmes working with people in challenging circumstances.

"We'll have lots of classes, dance, music, singing and acting for all sorts of different people - adults, 60-plus, children. We want to transform this into an engaging place to perform.

Help wanted: A notice advertising for tutors taped to the window  Picture: Chris BishopHelp wanted: A notice advertising for tutors taped to the window Picture: Chris Bishop

"We're grateful for The Garage in Norwich's support and we'd love to hear from new artists and volunteers interested in helping us deliver great work for young audiences."

A notice taped to the window lists vacancies for tutors and delivery artists in disciplines including music, ballet, break dance, street dance, hip hop and accessible performance.

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