Our new Sales and Audience Experience Manager, Katie Beauchamp, gives us a heads up on what to expect over the festive period at the Corn Exchange...

You joined us fairly recently, where did you work before the Corn Exchange? 

I have been very fortunate in my career over the past 10 years and have had various jobs based in entertainment and hospitality. They include singing and performing on cruise liners for P&O and Thomson across the Mediterranean and South America, working as Entertainments Manager for Warner Leisure Hotels across several large hotels in the UK and most recently as Assistant General Manager for an independent hotel and restaurant chain, Bel and The Dragon. I have loved the variety of the roles I have taken on over the past 10 years and thrive on new exciting challenges. I have always been a people person so try to seek out customer facing roles, as I get a real buzz from exceeding customer expectations.

Now you've been with us for several months, what would you say your favourite part of your role so far is? 

That’s a hard question, there are so many things I’m enjoying so far - from the daily contact with customers, amazing shows, meeting all our wonderful volunteers… the list is endless. I think one thing that does stand out in my mind is that obviously working within an arts organisation, you are surrounded by so many like-minded individuals. It is truly inspiring to see how hard everyone works and how much passion they have for the Corn Exchange. The team's focus to give the community the best possible facility to enjoy never falters, and for the children of the area to grow up with the arts as a way of life - it's an amazing organisation to be a part of.

This is our busiest time of year, are the Front of House team prepared to welcome the 22,000 panto-goers through the doors this Christmas? 

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year. The team and I have been planning and preparing for the panto season for months now, so we were thrilled to open the doors to our first audiences last week. We have the Christmas tree up, the sweets stocked, our festive jumpers on and mince pies and mulled wine ready for your pre-Christmas treat. So all we need now is an excited audience who are well practiced in their boos and cheers to complete the panto season!

What do you think of this year’s cast and who is your favourite character from this year’s pantomime? 

Ooo, that's mean, I couldn’t possibly pick just one favourite. After attending the first read through of the panto a few weeks ago and meeting the cast, what I can tell you is that you really are in for a treat! With such a talented and energetic cast I’m so excited to see the finished product on stage this week. If you forced me to decided I think I’d have to say I have a soft spot for a baddie, so our wonderful dame Paul (PK) as the Enchantress would be my top pick.

Lastly, What would be your top three songs on the Corn Exchange Christmas playlist?

  • Shakin' Steven’s - Merry Christmas Everyone - for the childhood memories
  • Eartha Kit – Santa Baby - because it's a timeless classic
  • Boney M – Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord - this never fails to get me dancing