Yarmouth St George’s box office bother: You call us...we’ll call back

AN EYE-CATCHING poster advertising a host of top acts due to appear at Norfolk’s newest arts venue is generating interest and frustration.

Discouraged callers trying to reserve seats at St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth are being assured they will be contacted by the box office if they speak to the answer-phone.

But this week it emerged the main number was not set up to take messages and that a growing number of callers had given up, defeated by the venue’s lack of information online and on the phone.

The flexible arts centre is taking shape albeit behind schedule with problems focused on a new architect-designed pavilion, and is billed as the centrepiece of an �8.5m transformation for the historic King Street area.

Bosses at the theatre say tickets will not go on sale until August 9 at the earliest and that because the office is “not highly manned” people will need to leave a message at times.

The idea of the poster at busy Fuller’s Hill roundabout was to “whet the appetite” for the kind of calibre acts the public could expect at the Grade I listed, 300 year old venue.

Advertised acts include comedian Tim Vine, crack Shakespeare troupe Propellor and acclaimed actor Robert Powell’s celebration of Charles Dickens.

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Tickets are, however, available for world famous flautist Sir James Galway whose performance will be staged at St Nicholas Minster instead because of structural problems at the pavilion, which is holding up the hand-over to the trust responsible for running it.

Chris Moore, trust manager, said the issue with the main telephone number would be sorted straight away and that anyone ringing the box office number would always be called back if they left a message.

“The poster has gone up to whet people’s appetite with some of the things we have lined up. We do hope tickets will be going on sale very soon.

“Anyone interested in events needs to ring the box office on 01493 331484.

“As far as the trust is concerned we are patiently waiting for the handover and to deliver a fantastic building.”

Locals say delays have created a “wilderness” in the King Street area. Consultants are investigating the cause of the structural fault in the pavilion.

The council’s powerful cabinet is due to discuss the theatre on Wednesday.