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Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre marks decade of shows

Performers will come together next week to celebrate a decade of full-time entertainment at Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre.

The volunteer-run theatre has staged 1,324 shows during the last 10 years following a £1million refurbishment project to transform the former antiques centre.

Theatre manager Judith Mackie said: “I never imagined we would come this far.

“A little town like Stamford hosting the winner of Britain’s Got Talent is incredible really. I’m so proud that such high profile performers are coming here and loving it.

“Everyone always wants to come back because it’s such a lovely town and they are so well looked after by our volunteers.”

The theatre is totally self-funded and costs around £250,000 a year to run.

It typically keeps 20 per cent of ticket sales which pays for advertising, technicians, electricity and maintenance costs. It is supplemented by income from the shopping arcade and private hire of the theatre lounge.

Judith said: “Theatres are not profitable these days. As a charity we are just here to keep the theatre running and cover our costs.”

Tribute acts have always been the bread and butter of the theatre but comedy has become a big seller in recent years with top names like Kevin Bridges and Chris Ramsey attracting sell-out crowds.

More big names are lined up for next year although details are being kept under wraps.

Judith said: “We have always wanted to bring people together and to allow that to happen we make sure we have something for everyone.”

The theatre’s diary is so packed the team struggled to fit in an anniversary show, but have pulled it together in the last eight weeks after Strictly Come Dancing contestant Seann Walsh postponed his Stamford show.

The celebratory show We Love Variety takes place on Friday, November 30 at 7pm. As the name suggests it will offer a bit of everything - comic sketches, ballet by the Welland School of Dance and songs by local performers.

The second half looks ahead to Christmas with a sketch about the perfect Christmas recipe and a festive number by The Phoenix Belles burlesque group.

Tickets are free but donations towards the upkeep of the theatre are welcome. To book call 01780 766455 or visit the box office at the theatre on Broad Street. Judith added: “It will be a great bit of fun as we head towards Christmas and another 10 years.”

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