Troupers make sure show goes on Gorleston Pavilion Theatre

Gorleston Pavilion Theatre is on a threshold of a �1m makeover to return it to its former splendour. Stephen Pullinger reports on the Norfolk resort's Edwardian gem.

Standing fast against North Sea elements and shifting holiday patterns, Gorleston Pavilion has stubbornly refused to follow the undignified fate of so many theatres in nearby Great Yarmouth.

Cherished by locals as an integral part of the quiet resort's fabric – every bit as important as the beachfront row of bright ice-cream parlours – its fate for the past 16 years has rested in the reassuring hands of theatre-lovers Kevin Lynch and Stuart Malkovich.

It is thanks to them, and a personal investment of at least �300,000, that the curtain continues to rise on a succession of new productions and the Pavilion is still realising the dreams of young performers.

After years of patching and mending the grade-two listed building – a thankless, never-ending task in face of merciless easterly winds – they are now poised to guide the theatre back to its glory days.

Having formed a charitable trust for its restoration, they have begun working with borough council officials, including conservation officer Darren Barker, to secure funding for a �1m makeover.

Kevin, 64, said: 'We will be looking for a Heritage Lottery grant but have been told that everything is on hold in that respect until the 2012 Olympics is over and has been paid for.'

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A condition of attracting funding is that they have to raise �100,000 themselves and they are already well on the way, having set up a Pavilion Theatre restoration fund.

Find out more about the theatre's new starring role in the new Weekend magazine in tomorrow's EDP.

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