Thrill of making people laugh again at Gorleston's Pavilion Theatre

The cast of the Summer Showtime show at Gorleston Pavilion

The cast of the Summer Showtime show at Gorleston Pavilion. - Credit: Nigel Pattle

How do you get rid of the pandemic blues? Well, Derek James suggests heading east for a blast of Summer Sunshine

You sit at tables, where the team look after you and keep you safe, the surroundings are splendid, and the entertainment is top class. What better way to spend a Tuesday night?

It is wonderful to see the 120-year-old Gorleston Pavilion Theatre looking so good after being helped by a nationwide cultural recovery fund.

The cast of Summer Showtime.

The cast of Summer Showtime. - Credit: Nigel Pattle

Every penny,  more than £70,000, was put to good use improving this palace of pleasure.

Yes, it has been  a tough time for the entertainment business as doors were slammed shut during the lockdown and normal day-to-day life put on hold.

Slowly but surely things are changing and we can celebrate the future in a good old fashioned way by sitting back and enjoying ourselves at a traditional seaside show.

Nigel “Boy” Syer and Olly Day

Nigel “Boy” Syer and Olly Day. A great Norfolk double raising the roof at Gorleston Pavilion this summer. - Credit: Nigel Pattle.

The Summer Showtime features our very own double act Olly Day and Nigel “Boy” Syer and a team of talented singers and dancers.

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“It is hard to put into words how I feel about being back on stage after such a long time. It has been such a difficult time for so many people in so many different ways,” said Nigel.

Mind you, he did make good use of his time by helping to build the a five-star Palm View Cattery, for his daughter Claire at Sprowston. “My dad is my rock,” she said.

Gorleston’s busy beach back in 1948.

Gorleston’s busy beach back in 1948 - Credit: Archant Library

Famous for being Norfolk’s funniest accordionist. He is also one of the most popular entertainers  in the Eastern Counties and he says: “I’m ready to rumble again,” he said.

Seeing him with his “old” mate Olly Day is a treat. From magic to mayhem and more besides….this is local humour at its very best. Complete with chicken.

Gorleston's Pavilion Theatre

Gorleston's Pavilion Theatre - Credit: Gorleston Pavilion Theatre

And the holidaymakers in the full-house, under Covid-restrictions, were laughing and applauding as loud as the locals when we went to watch them a couple of weeks ago.

“We really love what we do,” added Nigel.

Olly, one of the most respected all-rounders in the business, says: “It’s a joy to be back on stage again at the Pavilion. It is such a wonderful theatre.

“You can feel the energy of so many great acts that have appeared there over the past century,” he said. “Many of them are great friends that we have since lost.”

And he added: “Having experienced a year off I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to be able to make people laugh again.

“I think it is good for the soul, not just for the audience but for everyone on stage,” said Olly.

All the stars of Summer Showtime, which is on every Tuesday night until October 12, deserved their standing ovation at the end of the show.

Nigel “Boy” Syer and Olly Day

Nigel “Boy” Syer and Olly Day - Credit: Nigel Pattle

They are Aaron Bolton, Tracy Parker-Harris, Sue King. Then there are the dancers Liam Sherwood, Isabella Weller, Shane Balls, Emily Forder, Roni Reade and Katie Green.

A number of other shows are on at the Pavilion this summer and for the rest of the year. Click on the theatre website for all the latest information at

Pavilion looking better than ever:

Whatever the weather is like outside – the moment you walk into the Pavilion Theatre at Gorleston, the sun comes out.

A elegant building, with Italian-style terracotta designed by borough engineer J W CockrilI, it opened in the summer of 1901 and was soon attracting the crowds until the First World War when it was taken over by the Army.

The Pavilion Theatre on Pier Gardens, Gorleston-On-Sea, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Pavilion Theatre

The Pavilion Theatre on Pier Gardens, Gorleston-On-Sea, Great Yarmouth - Credit: Gorleston Pavilion Theatre

In June of 1919 Joe Harvey raised his baton and a newly-formed 16-piece orchestra started playing to herald the re-opening following the war.

The theatre has seen good and bad times over the years hosting whole range of events from professional boxing to old time music hall. Plus a number of radio and TV shows.

It escaped being destroyed in the 1950s when members of Yarmouth Borough Council said it looked like a “mortuary” and wanted to be rid of it.

Well, it has sprung back in life and is now looking better than ever.

A round of applause for those in charge, Stuart Malkovich and Kevin Lynch, and manager Luke Thompson.