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Abba and Elvis: First orchestral picnic concerts at Cromer Hall

PUBLISHED: 18:16 01 February 2017 | UPDATED: 18:31 01 February 2017

The British Symphony Orchestra pictured at Cadogan Hall, London, in December 2016. Picture: ALASTAIR MERRILL

The British Symphony Orchestra pictured at Cadogan Hall, London, in December 2016. Picture: ALASTAIR MERRILL

Alastair Merrill

Mamma Mia! Thousands flocking to Cromer and this summer are set to get All Shook Up at two orchestral concerts devoted to Abba and Elvis.

Organisers of the first two summer picnic concerts in the grounds of Cromer Hall have revealed details of each event.

Both will feature the 40-plus musicians of the British Symphony Orchestra under their prestigious conductor, Philip MacKenzie.

Saturday August 5 at 7.30pm will see the orchestra and singers celebrate Abba’s hits.

And on Sunday August 6, at 6.15pm, this year’s concerts
finish with an evening of Elvis classics, many sung by Gordon Hendricks who, in 2014, earned the title Grand Champion, beating 100 other competitors, at the top Collingwood Elvis Festival in Ontario, Canada, attended by Presley’s wife, Priscilla.

“Bring a picnic and your friends to this fantastic north Norfolk setting and enjoy the warmth and grandeur of a full orchestra,” said BBC broadcaster and EDP columnist Nick Conrad who is promoting the events with business partner Martin Lord.

“The music of Abba and Elvis never seems to wane, and they transcend all ages,” said Mr Lord.

The pair have commissioned all-new orchestrations, ranging from pop to operatic.

“We hope they will bring people to Cromer for the day, to visit the beach and shops, have fish and chips and then come to our evening concert,” said Mr Conrad, who was born and raised in Sheringham.

He said he had been organising large concerts for many years and was especially pleased to bring them to a part of Norfolk which meant so much to him.

“The more traditional proms has been done in north Norfolk at Blickling Hall and done very well. We are offering something different,” he added.

The pair hope picnic concerts will become an annual event at Cromer Hall, home of Benjie Cabbell-Manners, and will prove an extra draw to the area in the run up to the town’s carnival week.

Early Bird tickets for the events cost £30, with prices later rising to £38. They are available from www.cromerhallconcerts.com or telephone 0333 666 3366.

The concerts will also be performed for the first time this summer at Haughley Park, near Stowmarket, Suffolk, with Abba on July 8 and Elvis on July 9.

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