New season: King's Lynn Arts Centre

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor There's a busy autumn in prospect at the King's Lynn Arts Centre. Appearances by two excellent and fast-rising comedians - Alan Carr and Marcus Brigstocke - are the first things to catch the eye, but there's plenty to enjoy for lovers of drama, music, art, films and family entertainment too.

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor

There's a busy autumn in prospect at the King's Lynn Arts Centre. Appearances by two excellent and fast-rising comedians - Alan Carr and Marcus Brigstocke - are the first things to catch the eye, but there's plenty to enjoy for lovers of drama, music, art, films and family entertainment too.

Co-star of Channel 4's Friday Night Project, the outrageously camp Alan Carr will be at the King Street venue on November 8 in a show for which tickets (£15) will be flying out of the door faster than you can say “double entendre”! And demand will be heavy too for the excellent Marcus Brigstocke (December 2, £12), creator of Radio 4 favourite Giles Wemmbley Hogg, star of television's Excuse My French and current Time Out comedy award winner.

The season gets under way on September 9-10 (10am-2pm) with the Heritage Open Days scheme, followed on September 23 with the Rumpus Theatre Company's presentation of Charles Dickens' final novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood (£9.50, concs £8.50).


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The venue's long-running link with the Royal Geographical Society means another fascinating speaker will be in town on September 30. John Pilkington will talk about Exploring the Incas (£11, concs £10), his journey along The Royal Road which links the ancient Inca capitals of Quito and Cusco, following the spine of the Andes for 1700 miles through what is now Ecuador and Peru.

October 1 sees an afternoon family treat with Full House Theatre Company presenting their tuneful version of the well-loved fairy tale Beauty and the Beast - watch out for the friendly dragon! Tickets £7.50, family deals available.

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The very excellent Mr Sid Kipper is back at the venue on October 7 (£9.50, concs £8.50) with another hilarious evening of Norfolk-tinged songs and humour in his show A Kipper Country Calendar.

Anna Mudeka is one of the liveliest interpreters of the sounds of Zimbabwe and southern Africa, so expect a vibrant evening at the venue on October 14 (£12.50) when Anna and her band are joined by Timbai Ensemble for a night of traditional and modern African music and dance.

Local film-maker Robert Fuller joins forces with the Audrey Muriel Stratford Charitable Trust for a special social history film evening, Celebrating 800 Years of Lynn and A Portrait of Victorian Lynn (October 19, £4, concs £3.50).

The following day there's a treat for fans of the most famous fictional detective of them all in Sherlock Holmes and the Final Problem (£10, concs £9).

The joint will be jumpin' on October 21 with the return of the Daniel Smith Blues Band with a barnstorming mix of barrelhouse

boogie woogie and raw blues piano playing (£10.50, concs £9.50).

The month ends in hilarious fashion (October 26-28) with KLODS' stage version of legendary sitcom Fawlty Towers (£9.50, concs £8.50).

Classical music lovers should book their tickets (£10.50, concs £9.50) for an appearance by South Korean-born pianist Young-Choon Park on November 4. The former child prodigy now performs more than 50 concerts across the world every year, for this November date she will be playing a programme of works by Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin.

Family audiences with children aged five and over will enjoy an afternoon show SHHH! on November 11. Set in a library (but then, you'd guessed that) it uses puppetry, mask, dance and live music and song to tell the story of Librarian Lil who is sucked into a whirlwind of words and adventure through the books in her library (£6.50, buy three or more tickets £6).

In the evening of the same day, that fine rock and blues band the Hamsters (£12.50, concs £11.50) will be in concert. Having played more gigs than you've had hot dinners, they are widely regarded as the UK's leading interpreters of Jimi Hendrix and ZZ Top.

Theatre company Love & Madness return to the King Street venue with their versions of two favourites. On November 17 (10.30am) it's JM Synge's classic tale of bravado and comeuppance in rural Ireland, The Playboy of the Western World. And the next day (7.30pm) it's a modern-dress version of Shakespeare's stirring Henry V. Tickets for either are £11.50, students £7.50, or £9 each if you book both.

The Hummingbirds are described as “The Dixie Chicks meets Indigo Girls”, blending three distinctive female voices and acoustic guitars. Find out for yourself on November 25 (£11, concs £10).

December 9 sees one of Europe's leading Indian brass bands, the eight-piece Bombay Baja Brass Band, followed (December 14-16) by a local production by the Noise & Chance School of Dance. Norfolk singer/comic Nigel 'Boy' Syer - currently wowing Gorleston Pavillion summer season audiences - will be in concert on December 17 (£10), while the Image Theatre Company present Scrooge, a seasonal participation musical on December 23 (2.30pm).

The year is rounded off in traditional style - oh yes it is by the KLODS panto (December 29-January 2, various times) Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp. Tickets £9, concs £7.50, family of four £28.

The venue offers a wide selection of interesting films, beginning with Ken Loach's moving drama about the Irish struggle for independence, The Wind that Shakes the Barley (15) on September 7-8 and Rebecca (September 14-15), and three (free) films for National Schools Film Week (details www.nsfw.org or from September 5, 0207 439 4880).

And its two galleries will also be presenting a busy programme of visual art, crafts and textiles.

Box office: 01553 764864 or www.kingslynnarts.co.uk

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