Behind scenes of Corn Exchange

SUE SKINNER Audiences at one of West Norfolk's top entertainment venues usually only get to see the stars and the front-of-house glitz and glamour.

SUE SKINNER

Audiences at one of West Norfolk's top entertainment venues usually only get to see the stars and the front-of-house glitz and glamour.

But on Saturday, visitors are being offered a unique look behind the scenes at the Corn Exchange in King's Lynn, to see what's involved in getting it all right on the night.

Access will be allowed to all areas at the borough council-run venue, which was reopened in 1996 after a redevelopment and refurbishment costing more than £4m.

Marketing manager Suzanne Hopp said: "They had various tours and things that went on when the Corn Exchange first opened but this is the first time since then that we've opened the venue in this way, when it's all access.

"People can literally come in and wander round and see what they want.

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"They can get very hands-on with things as well: they can learn how the spotlights operate and they can have a go at operating the sound system and do a sound check.

"They can go backstage and look at the dressing rooms as well and they can get involved with what it takes to put a show on."

The free event, which runs from 10am to 4pm and is suitable for all the family, will include art workshops in the balcony bar, face-painting, competitions, and make-up and prosthetics demonstrations by students from the College of West Anglia.

Staff from all departments will be on hand to answer questions about the building.

The open day will also celebrate the launch of a new joint membership scheme, ac(ce)pt, for the Corn Exchange and the council's two other venues, King's Lynn Arts Centre and the Princess Theatre at Hunstanton.

Benefits will include priority booking and advance notice on selected shows, discounts on show and film tickets and gallery purchases, an extended reservation period, bi-monthly show updates and advance copies of brochures.

Ac(ce)pt takes its name from the first two initials of each of the three venues.

Joining fees vary according to the type of membership but anyone signing up between Saturday and Monday will receive a discounted rate for the first year.

For details, call the box office on 01553 764864 or 01485 532252 or go along to the open day.

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