New season: Princess Theatre

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor Hunstanton Princess Theatre gets ready for summer on Monday with the launch of its new brochure. Trevor Heaton has a sneak preview.


Sunny Hunny just wouldn't be sunny without its busy and popular Princess Theatre, which provides a virtual year-round programme of entertainment.

Summer, though, is its busiest time of the year (panto aside) and the new programme is a winning mix of comedy, ballet, drama, music and film with the centrepiece being the official summer season, which this year runs from July 24 to September 1.

The theatre is also the main venue for Hunstanton's annual Festival of Arts.

Music, as usual, is the backbone of the Princess' programme and there is a feast from rock'n'roll to show tunes, country to top tributes, classical to jazz.

The music programme gets under way on May 7 with a tribute to the most famous purveyors of summer feel-good pop of them all. Beach Boys Inc promise a hit-packed show full of classic anthems. Tickets £13-£8.50.

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Then on May 14 it's one of the great names in British jazz when the Big Chris Barber Band bring an evening of toe-tapping classics (£14.50-£8.50).

There's a double-date on June 2-3 for a real West Norfolk favourite - Irish country/easy listening star Dominic Kirwan. His visits are always eagerly anticipated, so tickets (£16-£8.50) will be in demand.

They Will Rock You (June 17, £15-£8.50) is a tribute to the hit-filled back catalogues of Queen, Elton John and Robbie Williams, while on the following evening that great British rock'n'roller Marty Wilde will be back at one of his favourite venues. Marty will, as ever, be accompanied by the Wilde Cats (£15-£8.50).

On June 4 songs made famous in a long-running BBC series will be revived by Margaret Savage, Bob Hunter and Les Want in Memories of the Black and White Minstrels (£13.50-£8.50).

Hunstanton Festival music events start on June 23 with Elgar - Stirring the Spirit (8.15pm) with music played by the popular Locrian Ensemble (£14.50-£8.50). Festival events also include nostalgia show Rockin' on Heaven's Door on July 1 (7.45pm, £16).

Courtesy of 1976 Eurovision winners Brotherhood Of Man, The Seventies Story (July 15, £13-£8.50) takes a year-by-year review of a decade that gave us many memorable songs, television shows, news stories and films, not to mention fashions! Still with the original Save Your Kisses For Me line-up of Lee Sheridan, Nicky Stevens, Martin Lee and Sandra Stevens, this is an evening for those of you keen to relive the decade.

Moving on a day - and a decade - it's Pop Goes the 80s* (July 16, 8pm, £13.50-£8.50), a new show looking back over the music of an era which gave us Eurythmics, Duran Duran, Madonna and Tina Turner.

With the launch of the summer season at the end of July, Saturday and Sunday will see music galore. The Meat Loaf Story returns on July 22 (8pm, £15-£8.50), followed the next day by Country Legends (£14-£8.50).

On July 29 it's the sound of the Fab Four with the Cavern Beatles (8pm, £13-£8.50), with the following day's concert being another tribute, Real Diamond, spotlighting the hits of Neil Diamond (£13.50-£8.50). John Hylton will feature many classic tracks Cracklin' Rosie, Love on the Rocks and of course that karaoke favourite Sweet Caroline.

August 5 sees The Ultimate 60s Show (£13-£8.50), followed the next day by those perennial favourites the Barron Knights (£13.50-£8.50).

Kytsun Wolfe stars in Bachelor Boy* on August 12, a tribute to Cliff Richard and the Shadows (£13-£8.50). On August 13, Forever in Blue Jeans bring their Jump'n'Jive show to the Princess (£13.50-£8.50).

Ga Ga, billed as the “ultimate tribute to Queen” plays on August 19 (8pm, £13.50-£8.50), with the following day bringing the return of Ray McVay's Glenn Miller Orchestra UK with more solid-gold big-band favourites (£14.50-£8.50).

The following Saturday there's a tribute to the baggy-trousered chaps in Complete Madness (8pm, £13-£8.50). Then on Sunday August 27 it's Irish showband favourites the Indians (8pm, £13.50-£8.50).

Then on September 2, it's Both Sides of Phil Collins* (£14-£8.50) and a Sandcastle benefit concert with a firm favourite with local audiences, Lindsay Hamilton* (September 3, £12.50-£8.50).

On September 9, The Fabulous 50s and Swinging 60s* features tons of hits from the decades (£13.50-£8.50).

Steel guitar wonder Sarah Jory is back at the venue on September 16 with her new show Rockin' This Country* (£14.50-£8.50, 8pm).

The summer season, which starts on July 24, follows a weekly format: Mondays, children's films; Tuesdays, Search for a Star talent contest (with regional final* on September 10); Wednesdays, Abba - The Show*, starring Barry Walker's Smackee; Thursdays, Best of British Musical Hall (3pm, July 27, August 10, August 24 only), films (7.30pm); Fridays, summer panto fun with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Music and summer season aside, there are plenty of other attractions.

They include the return of Richard Digance (May 20, 8pm, £14-£8.50) offers audiences an evening of comedy, stories and songs.

A few days earlier, on May 13, London Classic Theatre Company presents Old Times by Harold Pinter. A work by one of our finest playwrights, this piece examines the relationship between a married couple which when interrupted by the appearance of an old friend, sees past and present collide with life changing consequences. Tickets £10.50 for the 8pm performance.

Making a very welcome return to the venue is the wonderful Independent Ballet Wales with its new production The Canterbury Tales (May 21, £14-£8.50). This company has become a firm favourite since their first visit in 2004 with Romeo and Juliet.

Tending to stay away from the traditional ballet titles, this new ballet by artistic director Darius James brings characters and tales from Chaucer's classic of English literature to life through some truly original and breathtaking choreography.

Then on June 8 there's an (adults only) audience with a true footballing legend. An Evening With Jimmy Greaves sees the much-loved Sixties star and broadcaster talk about his incredible career (357 first division goals, and 44 for England in 57 appearances), Tickets £16.50-£8.50.

The theatre will also be continuing its regular film showings, with treats lined up including the Oscar-grabbing Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line (May 3-6) and the fine Gwyneth Paltrow-Anthony Hopkins drama Proof (May 10-12).

Concessions are available for many of the shows. All shows bookable now, except for shows marked with an asterisk, which will be on sale from Monday. All shows 7.30pm unless stated.

For complete listings pick up a copy of the brochure available from Monday April 3 or call the box office: 01485 532252