New season: King's Lynn Corn Exchange

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor King's Lynn Corn Exchange has lined up one of its best-ever seasons with a host of familiar names from the fields of comedy, music, film and sport.


King's Lynn Corn Exchange has lined up one of its best-ever seasons with a host of familiar names from the fields of comedy, music, film and sport.

Things get under way in adult fashion on April 20 when that outrageous comic Jim Davidson pays his latest visit to the Tuesday Market Place venue… and there's not long to wait for his next appearance, as he'll be back there on May 2! Tickets for either show are £19, with the second show, in particular, in heavy demand.

Country music lovers should have a red ring round the date of May 1, as it's going to be their very last chance to see the great Don Williams in concert. It's the farewell tour for the country star who'll be singing such classics of the genre as I Recall A Gipsy Woman and - of course - You're My Best Friend. There are two shows (5pm and 8pm) with tickets £26.50.

Former Spandau Ballet lead singer Tony Hadley will be in concert on May 3 (£19.50) with his new 'by request' show. Here's how it works: in the first half Tony will be performing a number of his favourite songs but will be leaving the second half selection up to the audience. Every person at the concert will have a song sheet with more than 70 songs listed - pick your favourite and (fingers-crossed) he will sing it!

After a sell-out visit on May 4 by that naughtiest of Cornishmen, Jethro, it's humour of a gentler sort the following day when Pam Ayres visits. After shooting to fame on Opportunity Knocks, the nation took Pam to its collective heart with her irresistible odes. Tickets £14.50 and £8.50.

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On May 8-9 there's a return visit from those 'hoofers' extraordinaires - Spirit of the Dance. The fast-moving and colourful show also features Ireland's Three Tenors. Tickets: £17.50, £15.50 (concs available).

Then on May 10 there's one of the funniest stand-ups on the circuit - Jo Brand. After making her name with blistering comedy (usually at the expense of us poor chaps), this one-time psychiatric nurse has seen her career bloom, from being a panel show regular to appearing with Trinny and Susannah! This is her first visit to Lynn for eight years. Tickets £15.50 for this adults-only show.

The ever-popular Norfolk Symphony Orchestra will be at the venue on May 14 for the latest in their regular Sunday afternoon concerts (£12, £8).

Monday May 15 sees the visit of screen legend Joan Collins, presenting An Evening With… Joan has been there and done it all, from more than 50 film appearances, numerous television shows (including Star Trek and her 'superbitch' role in Dynasty) and best-selling books. She'll be joined by Jonathan Ross' house band, 4 Poofs and a Piano. Tickets £28.50.

The BBC2 show Grumpy Old Men proved to be an unexpected and huge hit. The ladies soon got in the act with Grumpy Old Women, and a show of that name is heading for Lynn on May 16. It stars comedian Jenny Eclair, actress Linda Robson and Fascinating Aida's Dillie Keane. Tickets £19. May 17 sees Peter Kay sidekick Paddy McGuinness bring his Dark Side tour to the Corn Exchange.

Paddy shot to fame as one of the doormen in the already-classic Phoenix Nights before making the spin-off series Max and Paddy. Tickets for the adults-only comedian are £15.

Fans of the 'The King' will lap up a hit-packed show based on the second phase of his career in Elvis in Concert: The Vegas Years (May 18, £16.50, concs £15.50).

The latest Comedy Club takes place on May 19 with more dependable laughs from regulars on the stand-up circuit. These always-popular shows are also taking place on June 15, July 6 and August 10.

That fine and versatile singer Jacqui Dankworth will be concert on May 21 with some people who know a bit about making things swing - the BBC Big Band. Tickets £16.50, concs £15.50.

In a joint collaboration Pegasus Opera Company in association with English Touring Opera present Leoncavallo's Pagliacci (May 23, £17.50, £15.50). A jealous husband and an unfaithful wife provide the backdrop for a story of passion and murder.

May 27 sees the eagerly-awaited visit by indie legend Morrissey. Tickets sold out instantly when this date was announced.

Joe Pasquale's reworking of Seventies children's favourite Rentaghost will be a family favourite on May 29 (two shows). King of the Jungle Joe wrote the show and gives his distinctive tones to 'Ed the Head'! Tickets £9, family (four) £32, family of three £24.

The Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the Squadronaires will be in concert on May 31 (£13) in an event raising funds for RAFA welfare work. More music follows on June 3 - West End showstoppers in Beyond The Barricade (£16.50, £8.50) - and June 4 when resident orchestra the City of London Sinfonia present an Opera Gala Night (£17-£10.50, concs available).

Former Genesis member Ray Wilson pays tribute to the long-running outfit in The World of Genesis (June 9, £16.50, £8.50), followed by shoot-from-the-lip funnyman Jimmy Carr (June 10, £17.50).

Lynn-born music star Duncan Breeze brings his new show The Rock'n'Roll Years to his home town on June 14 (£15.50, concs £14.50*), followed by more feelgood music in What a Feeling! The June 17 (£21.50) show features Eighties pop star Sinitta, former member of HearSay Noel Sullivan and Pop Idol contestant Zoe Birkett who will be celebrating music from blockbuster movies including Dirty Dancing and Grease.

There's a welcome return for Independent Ballet Wales for another traditionally-staged favourite, Giselle (June 18, £15, under-16s £8.50*), followed by a sell-out visit by Electric Light Orchestra Pt II on June 20.

The much-loved (and much-recorded) Treorchy Male Choir that magical Welsh choral sound on June 23 (£16.50, concs £15.50).

Seventies favourites the New Seekers have re-formed and will be teaching the world to sing on June 24 (£14.50). That's followed the next day by everyone's favourite naughty bear in The Sooty Show (£8, family of three £22.50, family of four £30).

There's a certain sporting competition heading our way this summer, and so you can bet that one of the hottest tickets will be The Legends of Football: Talking Football on June 26. Why? Just look at the line-up: 1966 World Cup hero (and West Ham/Norwich legend) Martin Peters, former England captain Alan Mullery and ex-West Ham, Everton and Norwich striker Tony Cottee. Tickets £15.50, £8.50.

More feelgood music heads to West Norfolk with the return of Dancing in the Streets (June 30, £19.50). There's an extended visit from Magic of the Dance (August 15-19) which promises a real summer holiday treat. They will be appearing at 7.30pm nightly with Wednesday and Saturday matinees.

Tickets £19.50-£14.50*, depending on age and time of performance. Family favourite Tractor Tom will provide some colourful fun for the youngsters on August 23 (£6.50, family discounts available).

And, of course, we shouldn't forget the King Lynn Festival, which presents (July 16) the Orchestra of the Swan and King's Lynn Festival Chorus; July 27, Alfred Brendel, and July 29 Philharmonia Orchestra.

t Tickets from the box office on 01553 764864 or at The new brochure is out on April 3 - shows marked with an asterisk will be on sale from that date.

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