Cromer summer show reports rise in audience numbers
08:06 22 September 2014
Archant Norfolk 2014
A return to traditional variety boosted Cromer pier show audiences this summer.
The long-running Seaside Special tried a comedy dominated format last year - but it was not to the taste of the core audience.
This summer there was more sparkle and glamour back on the bill - and it saw a 7.6pc rise in ticket sales.
Rory Holburn, director of pier managers Openwide Coastal, said: “Some people, mainly the younger crowd, preferred last year’s more urban and modern show.
“But it is our core market we need to look after more than anything. As people get older the enjoy softer, sentimental and more rounded performances.”
About 29,000 people had seen this year’s show during a 15-week run, which ended at the weekend. The run was two weeks shorter than last year, but ticket sales were well ahead of the 26,500 the previous year.
The days of announcing near 90pc capacity at the end of the season had gone but Cromer pier was doing “significantly better than many other venues.”
It now had to compete with bigger venues attracting West End shows on tour - but needed to celebrate the fact it was the last surviving end-of-the-pier summer show in Europe,
Mr Holburn said: “We have turned a corner are heading in the right direction.”
Headline comic Paul Eastwood will return next summer, and there were plans to look at “physical acts” such as circus or street performances to help attract the family audience.
There were also plans for a Saturday matinee show geared to families - not just children - which would be like the main show but with “softer content” said Mr Holburn.
The venue is also now planning its Christmas show, which will see former New Seeker Lyn Paul joining regular all-rounder Olly Day as headliners.
Mr Holburn said it was the first step to bringing in a named artist to appear in the show.