Redecorated and re-roofed, Wallingford’s Corn Exchange is finally re-opening with a bang this month after a major £650,000 refurbishment.
The town landmark will be welcoming back its loyal supporters and fans of theatre with a high-octane rock-n-roll performance of Cinderella on January 12.
More than half a million pounds has been spent on repairing the Grade II listed Victorian building since major refurbishment works began in June.
In their 70th annual pantomime, the Sinodun Players and director Marilyn Johnstone promise to deliver a show full of colour and larger than life characters, including the favourite ugly sisters, Buttons and Baron Hardup, and of course Cinderella.
Corn Exchange favourite Fiona Huntingford-Ledger plays Buttons, while West End professional musician and arranger Rob Alderton takes the helm as the show’s musical director.
Speaking about the big night, Fiona said: “We’re very excited to be bringing a rock and roll pantomime to the Corn Exchange, which is looking wonderful.
“It’s exciting, different and should be a huge hit with all the family.”
The pantomime will be the first show staged at the Corn Exchange since the work on the roof, heating and ventilation system was completed.
The refurbishment project remains ongoing and £150,000 is still needed to complete it.
Oliver Hemmings, chairman of Corn Exchange Wallingford Ltd, said: “We are grateful to our sponsors, including South Oxfordshire District Council.
“We’ve also done some work in the auditorium but there’s lots more to do.”
The Sinodun Players, a registered charity that owns the venue, launched an appeal in January last year to raise money to replace the 160-year-old glass roof on the building after leaks in poor weather that were ruining the building’s infrastructure.
The charity had set aside £150,000 for the project thanks to previous funds raised, but worked hard to raise more cash and apply for government grants to secure the future of the venue.
The pantomime will run for 15 shows until January 27 and already the matinees have sold out.
A date for a formal opening night ceremony has not yet been confirmed.
To book, visit www.cornexchange.org.uk.