New season: Princess Theatre

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre is gearing itself up for its busiest time of the year with celebrity concerts and its packed summer programme.


From its position overlooking the Green, it's hard to miss the Princess Theatre when you're in 'Sunny Hunny'. And theatre staff are making sure you're unlikely to overlook its contents either, with another packed programme in prospect.

The season starts in May with two theatre favourites both playing for two nights each. Country music star Raymond Froggatt (May 5-6, £13-£9.50) and Irish singer Dominic Kirwan (May 11-12, £16.50-£9.50) are both regulars at the Princess and are sure to be two of the hottest tickets for the new season.

Hunstanton Dance Festival takes place from 9am on May 19 and 20, followed by Michael Cooney's farce Cash on Delivery - performed by the Princess Theatre Club - from May 24-26 (£8, concs £7).

Winners of the British Jazz Award for best big band in 2005 and 2006, the Back To Basie Orchestra play a concert featuring Jacqui Hicks on May 27 (£15.50-£9.50) and, returning with its brand new Jump & Jive show for 2007, Forever In Blue Jeans present more hit-packed musical nostalgia the next day (£14-£9.50).

More nostalgia with Memories Are Made of Hits! on June 2 (£13.50-£9.50), starring Princess regulars Barry Walker and Smackee, then the following day it's the much-acclaimed Scottish children's performers The Singing Kettle with their Wild West Show. Aimed at children aged from one to eight, this a fun-filled Western adventure where the audience are invited to come dressed as a cowboy or cowgirl. Tickets £9, family of three £24, family of four £32.

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The Pete Allen Jazz Band promise a toe-tapping evening on June 10 (£13-£9.50), followed on June 17 by the return of another Princess favourite, Irish country star Susan McCann (£13-£9.50).

The Hunstanton Festival of Arts takes place from June 16-July 8 and includes a production of Coppelia from Independent Ballet Wales (June 21, £14.50-£9.50) and the return of Bruce James Productions for three-night drama Art (June 29-July 1, £14.50-£12.50). Yasmina Reza's witty study of friendship opened in the West End to rave reviews in 1996 and stars Eric Potts (Corrie's Diggory Compton), Damian Williams and Benjamin Roddy.

Voice of the Heart: Karen Carpenter (July 14, £14-£9.50) is a tribute to the golden-voiced (and much-missed) singer, and then on July 21 the pace moves up a gear when the theatre's Summer Season officially starts, offering six weeks of non-stop entertainment, with something happening every single day.

On Mondays (July 23-August 27) the theatre is transformed in to a cinema to show a selection of children's films. Tuesday evenings (July 24-August 28) sees the return of the popular Search For A Star talent competition. The winner of each heat wins a cash prize and a place in the Regional Final at the theatre on September 8.

One of the headline acts of this year's Summer Season are The Drifters, who will play every Wednesday evening (July 25-August 29).

They are one of the longest-running pop groups in history and one of the biggest-selling acts of all time, with 16 UK hits (and that's not counting the re-entries).

On Thursdays (July 26-August 30) a family film will be shown in the evening.

Every other week there will be a special matinee seaside variety show, Holiday Show Time, hosted by Keith Hopkins with Norfolk's own Olly Day (August 2, 16 and 30). Princess regular Keith 'Appy' Hopkins and a host of seasoned entertainers will be keeping the classic 'end of pier' summer show alive and kicking in Hunstanton.

On Fridays (July 27-August 31) there will again be a family film showing in the evening and during the afternoon there will be Dave Benson Philip's Get Up And Go Show (July 27-August 31), with the ever-popular television presenter and his friend Big Bear.

As usual there will be a busy schedule of concerts on summer Saturdays and Sundays, including Bee Gees Magic - celebrating 30 years of Saturday Night Fever - on July 21 (£14.50-£9.50), Vivaldi by Candlelight featuring the Locrian Ensemble (July 22, £14.50-£9.50), Buddy Holly and the Cricketers (July 28, £13.50-£9.50), Hooked on Country, Sold on Sixties (July 29, £13.50-£9.50), Abba the Show (August 4, £13.50-£9.50), the Country Legends Solid Gold Show (August 5, £14.50-£9.50), Marty Wilde And The Wildcats (August 11, £15.50-£9.50), the Glenn Miller Orchestra UK (August 12, £14.50-£9.50), the No 1s Show 50s and 60s Special (August 18, £13.50-£9.50), Irish country singer Aidy Quinn (August 19, £13-£9.50), West End classics in Phantom And The Musicals (August 25, £13.50-£9.50) and legendary Irish showband The Indians (August 26, £13.50-£9.50).

And the season wraps up with Red Hot Flashback (September 1, £15-£9.50), Magic Moments (September 2, £14-£9.50) and the Search For A Star regional final (September 8, £7.50).

The venue will also be showing plenty of films, including Notes On A Scandal (May 2-4) and Amazing Grace (June 24-26).

Box office on 01485 532252.

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