There was little time for staff at The Royal Hippodrome to celebrate news that TV star Miranda Hart was bringing her Work in Progress show to town.
For the theatre was given just over a week’s notice that it had been chosen by Miranda as one of the pilot venues for her new show which goes on tour next year.
Officials from the Hippodrome had been working hard in the background for several weeks in the hope that Eastbourne’s 130-year-old theatre might be chosen.
Show organisers, including Miranda herself, had scoured the country for smaller, ideal venues and the Hippodrome came onto their radar.
It was then a question of wait and see for the Hippodrome. But when the go-ahead came through for Friday, November 29, the team swung into action.
A late-afternoon announcement was made via social media that tickets would go on sale the next day – and within three hours all 600-plus seats had been sold.
Darren Weir told the Herald, “It’s fantastic news for the Hippodrome and has given the whole place a great buzz.
“Obviously it’s a very big night for the theatre but all the staff and volunteers are ready.
“We only had a few days to prepare but we’ll be ready.”
Darren explained that ticket sales had been on a first-come first-served basis but explained that all on the Hippodrome mailing list had been given first notice.
“We had to be loyal to people who regularly frequent the theatre but there were tickets for others and these were snapped up in no time.”
Miranda Hart sprung to TV fame in 2009 with her popular BBC show Miranda and also starred in the Call The Midwife drama.
She is now busy gathering on material for Work in Progress and will perform two 45-minute halves at tonight’s performance.
Meanwhile it’s all systems go for the Hippodrome with the ushers, bar staff, ticket office, back stage manager and lighting technicians among those working hard to ensure the night is a success.