German filmmaker's 'love letter to Britain' features famous Norfolk show
- Credit: RauLinse Photography
The quintessentially British warmth and wit of the Cromer Pier Show shine through in a new documentary by a renowned German filmmaker.
Jens Meurer, 58, turned his camera on the world's only end-of-pier variety show - having first seen it with his British wife in 2009.
Mr Meurer said: "Just 10 minutes in I had completely fallen in love with it, and I told myself one day I'd make a film about it.
"The show may seem old-fashioned, but what struck me was how well it was made, and how the audience connected with it.
"West End shows might be bigger or more famous, but for sheer feel-good value I can't think there's anything better or more unique."
Mr Meurer spent months in Cromer during 2019 filming the pier, the town, its carnival and summer and Christmas pier shows for the 90-minute 'love letter to Britain', called Seaside Special.
The story is set against the backdrop of the heated Brexit process of that year and looks into how continental Europeans see the British, and how we see ourselves.
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There are also interviews with well-known locals including former mayor Richard Leeds and crab fisherman John Lee, who went to Germany for the documentary's premier at a film festival.
Mr Meurer said it hit home for him how much people care about the pier show when he saw one of the show's dancers standing in the wings, brimming with joy as she watched her co-stars perform on stage.
He added: "The film is really a celebration of the show and the people who are making it possible. And the community that is Cromer."
Mr Meurer is an award-winning producer, having worked on films such as Rush, staring Chris Hemsworth, and the first-ever large scale film made digitally, Russian Ark.
But the Berliner returned to a film camera for Seaside Special to better convey the traditional feel of Cromer and the show.
Its UK premier will be at the pier's Pavilion Theatre on December 19, with half the proceeds to go to the hospital unit that cared for former pier show star Paul Eastwood, who died this year.
Visit www.cromerpier.co.uk for more.