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A great year gone and another super one ahead

In his weekly That’s Entertainment column, Andy Tyler looks back at 2023 and forward to 2024...

As this is the last ‘That’s Entertainment’ column of 2023 I’ll be looking back at previous local highlights from this year as well as looking forward to ones in 2024. I’m sure you’d agree we’re very often spoilt for choice as to what events to attend, here in West Norfolk.

Many readers have enjoyed the current panto at The Alive Corn Exchange: Dick Whittington and his Cat ( running until December 31), but believe it or not, the public can now book for next year’s panto: Cinderella, which will run from December 10, 2024, until January 5, 2025. As usual the box office can be contacted on 01553 764864.

Lynn’s panto was a highlight of 2023
Lynn’s panto was a highlight of 2023

Don’t forget many pantos run on into the early weeks of the New Year, so one may still be performed at a hall or theatre near you over the coming holidays.

One of the great innovations of recent years has been the streaming of live (and sometimes repeated) musical productions and theatre from major venues at local cinemas. I recently attended a superb performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, streamed from London’s Royal Opera House at The Alive Corn Exchange Cinema. I also watched Mozart’s The Magic Flute earlier in the year.

Patrons can also look forward to performances of Rusalka, the ballet: Manon, and Puccini’s famous masterpiece: Madama Butterfly in early 2024. An actual visit to The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is always a pleasure, even if it’s just to take a look around, visit the gift shop, and enjoy refreshments at the theatre’s coffee house.

Earlier in the year, the announcement (now confirmed) that the original floorboards discovered at The Guildhall of St.George were from Shakespeare’s time only reinforces the need for our historic Guildhall to be protected and promoted; more visitors to Lynn and West Norfolk are always welcomed and needed.

The support given to The Guildhall by organisations such as The Shakespeare’s Guildhall Trust and others is much appreciated; for more information visit the Vision King’s Lynn website.

And now for something completely different, as they say. Mike Beckett is giving an illustrated Zoom talk on The Cambridge to King’s Lynn (railway) Line 30 Years of Electrification, on Wednesday, January 17 at 7.30pm. The venue is Discover Downham (The Old Fire Station), admission £4, members of The Heritage Society £3. For home viewing Zoom places are bookable on Eventbrite from January 1, price £4. This is a Heritage Society Open Meeting.

If you plan to attend the Record Club meeting at Lynn Library, 5.15pm on January 8, please bring a vinyl record you’d like others to hear as it’s planned for attendees to share excerpts from their favourite discs.

I’ve enjoyed watching many films over the last 12 months. Oppenheimer, Barbie and Napoleon were enjoyable, but I especially enjoyed Killers of the Flower Moon and Tar (about a conductor, finely portrayed by Cate Blanchett); I’m also looking forward to viewing the recent film about the life of famous composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, entitled simply: Maestro.

The bestselling book of the year is, of course, Prince Harry’s controversial publication: Spare; whatever your views, read it with an open mind.

Lastly, I write a lot about music in this weekly column, apparently Elvis Costello once said: writing about music is like dancing about architecture. On that note I wish all my readers a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

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