Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Open day will go behind the scenes at the Corn Exchange

Open day will go behind the scenes at the Corn Exchange

WALLINGFORD’S Corn Exchange will be revealing all its backstage secrets when it bares its inner workings to the public at a special open day tomorrow (Saturday).

The event, which is free to attend, celebrates the culmination of a major refurbishment project which involved a new roof and auditorium improvements.

Throughout the day, Corn Exchange volunteers will lead tours around the historic building to give visitors a flavour of all that takes place behind the scenes and front-of-house.

Included in the tours will be visits to dressing rooms, props and costume stores, the extensive workshop — plus a chance to marvel at the range of intricate technical gear and lighting hardware.

Some displays will be interactive with technical experts on hand to give advice and guidance.

There will be an opportunity for people to have a “voice projection” experience on stage in the auditorium, while in the workshop arty types can use their imaginations to draw or paint scenes on to a stage “flat”. The finished results will be displayed in the Corn Exchange’s public area.

And for those who like dressing up, they can try on some of the Sinodun Players’ extensive range of costumes — then take a selfie in the upstairs Club Room, which will be specially set up for the purpose.

Cinema plays a huge role in the Corn Exchange’s weekly schedule and wannabe projectionists can find out how a film showing is planned and how an evening’s entertainment programme is put together.

Members of the technical team will explain the mysteries of the “moving light” equipment in the control room where visitors will have yet another opportunity for a slice of hands-on experience.

When not touring the building, visitors can indulge in a spot of refreshment from a giant cake stall outside the theatre or in the Corn Exchange’s upstairs Curtis Room, where coffee and goodies will be available throughout the day. Katie Price, one of the organisers, is also hoping the event will attract more people to join the ranks of volunteers who are the backbone of the popular entertainment centre.

She said: “Our aim is to show members of the public what we do here at the Corn Exchange, what a brilliant place it is for entertainment. It’s run by a very friendly and hospitable group of people and we hope people will be encouraged to come along and join us.”

The open day takes place at the Corn Exchange in Market Place, Wallingford, from 10am to 4pm tomorrow. Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult and access to some areas may be difficult for those with mobility problems. For more information, visit

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