New season: Princess Theatre

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor In a season that's chock-full of familiar names, it's somehow right that the very first show of the autumn line-up at the West Norfolk venue is looking squarely to the future.

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor

In a season that's chock-full of familiar names, it's somehow right that the very first show of the autumn line-up at the West Norfolk venue is looking squarely to the future.

Search For a Star Regional Final (September 5) features the talented finalists from six heats held over the summer who will be returning to try to win a place in the national final of this popular competition.

The music of someone who has definitely “made it” will be featured on September 12. The Best of Me is a new show, based on the amazing chart success of Cliff Richard, while Some Liked It Hot! (September 18) features hits from the golden age of music during the Twenties and Thirties.

Other new shows to look out for include Magic – A Kind of ELO (October 29), in which the much-admired Queen tribute band turn their considerable musical skills to reproducing the orchestral sound of the Electric Light Orchestra and Higher and Higher – The History of Soul Show (November 13).

Straight from the heart of London's jazz world in Dean Street, Soho, and making their first appearance in Hunstanton are the Pizza Express All-Stars (October 16), followed a few days later by a showcase for top British country music in Just When You Thought It Was Safe… Again! (October 24).

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Autumn wouldn't be autumn at the Princess without the appearance of a) Ken Dodd and b) the panto. The evergreen comic is playing a one-nighter only this time round (October 20) – and knowing the marathon laughter-master, it'll probably run most of the night too!

The panto this year is the third from Mark Andrews Productions, Robin Hood and the Babes in the Woods, running from December 8 to January 4 2005.

Turning back to live music, other attractions to enjoy earlier in the season include the return of Ga Ga – The Ultimate Tribute to Queen (September 25) and the much-loved Joe Brown (September 26).

Country and Irish always goes down well with local audiences, so Jimmy Buckley's visit on October 2 will be very popular, as will the return of the “Big Fella”, Brendan Shine (November 14).

Forces Sweethearts (November 7) is a nostalgic look at songs from the Forties, while classical music fans can look forward to the Greatest Classical Concert (September 19), together with all-action violinist Beverley Davison presenting her show Classical Cabaret (October 23).

As well as Doddy, you can enjoy return visits from sure-fire laughter-makers Richard Digance (October 17) and Jimmy Tarbuck (November 5 and 6). Other highlights include Gerry Cross the Mersey (October 3), and for drama fans Jane Austen's classic Sense and Sensibility (October 10).

The theatre also screens films (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Troy and Shrek 2 have been lined up already), while for children there's a space-age musical adventure The Kosmic Krew (October 31), and The Sooty Show (November 21) is sure to be a delight for audiences young and old alike.

For a brochure and more details call the box office 01485 532252 from Monday August 13, or visit www.princesstheatrehunstanton.co.uk

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