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Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre appeals for volunteers to prepare for its planned reopening on June 30

A charity-run theatre is appealing for volunteers to prepare the venue for reopening.

The Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre hopes to raise the curtain on its first performance on June 30.

Before then a team of volunteers must be put in place to help with everything from ice cream selling to lighting.

Judith Mackie at Stamford Corn Exchange.Photo: Lee Hellwing. (45874114)
Judith Mackie at Stamford Corn Exchange.Photo: Lee Hellwing. (45874114)

General manager Judith Mackie said: “It has been a long and difficult year with our last show in front of an audience on March 20 last year.

"Throughout the long closure we have been busy moving shows and have been able to keep in contact with our patrons, whose support for our theatre and confidence on returning to live shows has kept us very positive about the future of The Corn Exchange Theatre."

A £25,000 grant from the Arts Council has helped but the venue will be relying on volunteer support more than ever in the coming months.

Judith Mackie at Stamford Corn Exchange
Judith Mackie at Stamford Corn Exchange

Judith added: "We haven't been successful in acquiring further funds from the Restart programme, which means it is paramount we recruit a team of enthusiastic, energetic and willing volunteers."

Anyone willing to help out can email info@stamfordcornexchange.co.uk or call 01780 766455 for an informal chat before a volunteer training day.

All volunteers must be at least 16 years old. Job roles include cleaning, decorating, maintenance, marketing, ticket sales, technical support, stage hands, ushers and bar and charity shop staff.

The theatre also needs new trustees with financial and legal experience.

The Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre in Broad Street (45874211)
The Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre in Broad Street (45874211)

The first scheduled show is Francis Rossi of Status Quo. Other performers lined up include Bernie Marsden, Rich Hall, Paul Zerdin, Joel Dommett and Mark Billy Billingham.

A new website allows customers to select their own seats when buying tickets online.

Judith added: "This theatre was created for the community by the people of Stamford who shared an enthusiasm of the performing arts.

"It is important that we can continue to provide a space for amateur and community shows to perform and carry out workshops.

"The unique thing about the Corn Exchange is we are not a financial drain on the council or any Arts Council funding - we are purely self-funded. To be able to continue we must always take in professional touring shows, which brings a great deal of tourism to the town as so many of our patrons make a weekend or holiday of their visit to Stamford.

"This also means we provides local people the opportunity to see top class performers on their doorstep. The comedians are especially popular and they particularly love the intimacy of our theatre and often chose to do their warm up gigs with us.

"We have always felt confident we would re-open at some point but our restart may result in less shows initially to build up a team and income again."

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