The Cromer Pier Christmas Show is set to sparkle brighter than ever
Archant Norfolk 2017
Take a cast of singers and dancers in sparking costumes, add magic, comedy and throw in a dose of audience participation.
Then, bundle it all up with fun and festive spirit, put it just off the coast and you have the Cromer Pier Christmas Show - the only one of its kind in the world.
This year’s festive variety spectacular has just been launched for 2017, and will once again feature Norwich entertainer Olly Day, who has been hosting the show for the past nine years.
Mr Day, 54, said he could not wait for the curtain to raise on this year’s show as there was nothing else quite like it.
He said: “It’s a magical experience walking down the pier with the waves crashing beneath you, and then you get all the lights and the sparkling tinsel as you enter the auditorium.
“It’s loads of fun and a little bit cheeky. It’s a traditional seaside show but with a Christmas feel, and children love it. It’s very special and we’re blessed to have it here in Norfolk.”
Emily Yarrow, another of the stars, said the show offered something for everyone.
She said: “There’s wonderful singing and dancing in different styles and different kinds of comedy. If you don’t like something, don’t worry because in three minutes there will be something entirely different on stage.”
Di Cooke, who has been the director, deviser and choreographer of the Christmas show for the past 13 years, said she was delighted that Openwide, which produces the show for North Norfolk District Council, had just been granted a 10-year extension of its contract to run the performance.
Describing the show, she said: “It’s essentially a variety show but with a Christmas theme. We retain that traditional element of what we have in the summer, but we go with the times and keep it really trendy.
“It’s gone from strength to strength and we’re selling more and more tickets as the years go by. We used to get a more mature audience but we’re seeing more and more people bringing in their children and grandchildren. It’s such a joy to see the grandchildren and grandmas laughing at the same things.”
One of a kind
Cromer Pier’s 500-seat Pavilion Theatre hosts two in-house variety shows each year - the Christmas spectacular and a summer show.
Over the past 40 years the venue has played host to hundreds of performers, tonnes of glitter and a dazzling number of choreographed stage kicks in what is the world’s only end-of-pier show.
And each season scores of petticoats, tights, fascinators and sparkly suits are produced by a team of just two for a succession of speedy costume changes to get performers in ship shape for the next number.
Making a welcome return to this year’s Christmas show after last performing on the pier in 2003 is multi-instrumentalist Leo Shavers, and singer Rob McVeigh is also on board after a spell performing on cruise ships.
Talented children from Marlene’s School of Dancing, the Seaside Special Dancers and the Cromer Christmas Choir are also taking part.
■ Next week is Cromer Week in the EDP. As part of our Enjoy Cromer More project, the town will be the daily focus of in-depth articles on areas including education, health and crime.