New season: King's Lynn Corn Exchange

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor King’s Lynn Corn Exchange has another packed programme in prospect for this autumn. Event editor Trevor Heaton previews the bill of fare in his exclusive preview.


Follow that. That's definitely the message after the West Norfolk venue delivered a vibrant spring programme with such headline-grabbing acts as Joan Collins, Jimmy Carr, Paddy McGuinness, Jo Brand and, of course, Morrissey.

And “follow that” it has, with another packed and crowd-pleasing line-up which includes legendary crooner Jack Jones, rhythm'n'blues with legends Bill Wyman and John Mayall, comedy hot properties Dara O'Briain, Jethro, Joe Pasquale and Lee Mack… and much more.

The season gets under way on September 19 with Antiques Roadshow regulars Hilary Kay and Paul Atterbury with their story of what goes on behind the scenes of this ever-popular programme. Tickets for their show, Have You Had It Long, Madam?, are £14, concs £13.

Disco Divas (September 22) stars Jaki Graham - remember her top ten Eighties hits Round and Round and Set Me Free? - with tickets £16.50 (£14.50 if booked by September 1) and £9.50.

One of the fastest-rising stars on the British jazz scene, Peter Grant, is in concert on September 23. Championed by the likes of Michael Parkinson, the Yorkshire singer-pianist will appear with Steve Price's Orchestra and be swinging his way through tracks taken from his top 10 album New Vintage. And he's still only 19! Tickets £18.50, concs £17.50.

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That great (and very likeable) British rock'n'roller Joe Brown is back for his umpteenth visit to West Norfolk on September 25. This time round he's featuring his talented daughter Sam Brown as special guest (tickets £19.50).

The first-ever winner of X-Factor, Steve Brookstein, will be in concert with Eileen Hunter on September 29 (£19.50, concs £18.50), followed by the much-acclaimed tribute act Think Floyd the following evening in a show which has extra poignancy this year with the death of Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett (£15, £9.50).

October opens with one of the great voices of British jazz, Clare Teal (£17.50, concs £16.50), who has been delighting audiences for years and whose album Don't Talk became the biggest success for a UK female mainstream jazz artist for almost 30 years. Award-winning Clare is also the presenter of Radio 2's Big Band Special.

And talking of great voices, American crooner and double Grammy award winner Jack Jones will be in concert on October 3. With a glittering career, great musical backing and quality songs of the calibre of Wives and Lovers, Shadow of Your Smile and Bewitched, this concert will be one of the highlights of the new season (£24.50, concs £23.50).

Reality show The Cruise made her a star with millions of viewers, and now Jane McDonald is calling in to Lynn as part of her 2006 concert tour. Tickets for the October 5 concert - which also features special guests - are £22.50.

The following day sees the return of one of the giants of British country, Charlie Landsborough (£16.50).

Children's fun comes in the shape of that naughty fox Basil Brush on October 8 (two shows). Tickets for his Fox Factor show are £12, under-16s £10. He'll joined by comedian Tucker (a former Cromer summer season favourite), with illusions and magic from Keelan Leyser and his assistant Charlotte Marie plus an all-singing, all-dancing ultraviolet spook-tacular.

In contrast there's a chance to see the stage version of one of the best-loved British films of all time when King's Lynn Players present The Full Monty from October 11-14 (£14, £12, concs £12.50, £11, £9).

Lest we forget… the Royal British Legion Norfolk County presents Festival of Remembrance 2006, with tickets £10.

On October 20 there's a treat for Motown lovers with a visit from Viscount Oliver's Legendary Four Tops (£15.50, £9.50), followed the next night by Eighties hit-makers Go West, with such classics as King of Wishful Thinking, Call Me and, of course, We Close Our Eyes to look forward to (£19.50).

Lynn's very own West End performer Duncan Breeze is back in his home town with the latest version of his very popular stage show A Night at the Musicals (October 22), which does exactly what it says on the tin! Tickets £16, concs £15, £9.50.

The City of London Sinfonia continue their long-running association with the Corn Exchange with two more concerts (October 24 and December 2, £17.50-£9.50).

Irish comic Dara O'Briain showed just how quick-witted he is when he famously stood in for Jonathan Ross at a few minutes' notice a few months ago for three hours of prime-time radio. He is one of the sharpest, wittiest and above all, likeable, comics around and tickets (£17) for his adults-only show on October 25 will be in big demand.

Lionel Blair hosts Simply Ballroom the next day, with choreography by Strictly Come Dancing stars Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag, and featuring 16 international dance champions performing everything from the tango to the paso doble, waltz and rhumba (£22.50, £20.50).

Steve Steinman's Vampire's Rock (October 27) is a high-energy fantasy rock concert which features more than 20 classic punch-the-air anthems from Queen, Guns N' Roses, Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi and Bonnie Tyler. Tickets £18.50 and £9.50.

More anthems the next day - but operatic ones this time. The Chisinau National Opera presents Puccini's immortal story of betrayed love Madama Butterfly (£32.50-£26.50), sung in Italian with English surtitles. It's the story of a young Japanese girl who marries an American naval lieutenant with tragic results.

The month ends with one of the most famous names in Irish music, the Dubliners. Tickets for the October 29 concert are £16.50-£9.50.

Outrageous adults-only Aussie comic Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson plays a double date at the Tuesday Market Place venue on November 1 and 2, with demand sure to be high (£16.50). Comedy of a gentler kind the next night when King of the Jungle Joe Pasquale brings his Return of the Love Monkey tour to Lynn (£16.50).

A musical double-header starts on November 5 with nostalgic musical Flashback, billed as “the Ultimate Rock, Pop and Soul Show” (tickets £15, concs £14), followed the next night by Sixties legends John Mayall with his Blues Breakers, and Chicken Shack with Stan Webb. A night of blistering rhythm and blues from these two giants of the genre is in prospect. Tickets £25.50.

Television medium Derek Acorah will be at the venue on November 8-9 (£17.50).

On November 10 it's the return of the Illegal Eagles (£16, £9.50), followed the next day by Alleyz Streetz Ahead in which 400 dancers will perform in East Anglia's first-ever community street dance show (£8.50, two performances).

Local favourites the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra present another of their popular Sunday afternoon concerts on November 12 (£12, £8), while Moscow Ballet - La Classique bringing The Nutcracker the next day (£18, £15.50).

On November 14, there's A Magical Evening with the Magician's Daughter, in which Valerie Gordon will talk about her 'other-worldly' experiences (£12.50).

That doyenne of dance Peggy Spencer will be hosting another Evening of Ballroom Dancing on November 17 (£10.50 - or sit and watch for £5.50).

Lionel Bart's classic musical Oliver! is the latest production from the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre from November 22-25 (£13.50, concs £11.50). And the audiences will no doubt be shouting for more, please on November 26 when They Think It's All Over host Lee Mack calls in on his latest marathon stand-up tour (adults only, £16). More adult laughs follow with Cornwall's greatest export since the pastie - Jethro (November 27, £17.50).

Three great helpings of music will end the month. On November 28, ex-Stone Bill Wyman brings his Rhythm Kings, playing classic rhythm and blues (£24.50); while Abba tribute act Bjorn Again recreate the Swedish pop giants the following day (£16.50, under 16s £12.50); and ELO, Move and Wizzard founder Roy Wood brings his rock'n'roll band on November 30 (£17.50, £9.50).

December 1 sees the return of the latest incarnation of the legendary Drifters (£17, concs £16), while on December 3, Radio Norfolk's king of country Roy Waller will compere a Christmas Country Show with Raymond 'Froggy' Froggatt, West Virginia and Ollie Austin (£18-£12.50).

The Syd Lawrence Orchestra was founded to keep alive the flame of the great big band music of Miller, Goodman, Basie and co - and, boy, have they succeeded. They will be in concert on December 8 (£16.50, concs £15.50).

Eve Ensler's ground-breaking show The Vagina Monologues, with its moving, funny and earthy accounts of female experience, will be at the venue on December 9. Suitable for ages 15 and over only, tickets are £16.50. The show sold out on its 2004 visit, so don't delay.

Musical nostalgia returns in the form of the hugely-popular That'll Be the Day on December 10-11, with a special Christmas-themed production (£18).

Konstantin Tatchkin's St Petersburg Ballet Theatre presents their sumptuous staging of The Sleeping Beauty on December 19 and 20 (includes a matinee on the 20th). Tickets for this great Christmas holiday treat range from £29.50 to £18.50 depending on performance.

West End stars of Les Mis present a special seasonal edition of Beyond the Barricade on December 22 (£17). And if you're still not in the Yuletide mood, then Carols by Candlelight with period outfit the Locrian Ensemble should sort you out nicely (December 23, 3.30pm, £15.50, under-16s £9.50).

All this and the regular Comedy Club and other local events too.

Some reduced ticket prices are for balcony seating - check when booking.

Box office: 01553 764864 or book online at