Christmas Seaside Special
RICHARD BATSON Pavilion Theatre, Cromer
> Pavilion Theatre, Cromer
Variety has been the spice of summer life at Cromer Pier for years in a sparkling and successful show that is the envy of other seaside theatres.
Now the same recipe has been given a festive flavour and a sprig of holly in a brand new Christmas show.
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Just like its “big sister”, the production sparkles with a blend of saucy comedy, music and dance - set in a kaleidoscope of colourful costumes and scenery.
The opening of a series of presents under a twinkling tree provides the links for a chain of routines and sketches.
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Top of the bill comic Tim Pope unwraps a string of gags and silly costumes - with a dodgy 'mic' and leaky theatre roof fuelling his witty adlibs.
His sidekick is comedy multi-instrumentalist Dick Van Winkle, who dazzles with his skilful playing but is also prepared to join in the tomfoolery.
The rest of the cast is led by a bubbly gang of singers and dancers with tight harmonies and choreography.
Christmas, as they say, is “all about children”, and youngsters joined in the action from the Cromer Dance Exchange and the Broadland Youth Choir.
The festive theme and shorter run could clip the wings of the show, but it compensates with lashings of atmosphere as rich and wholesome as mother's gravy.
Appropriately for the time of year, the show is more of a cosy family gathering, where every-one does their party piece and has a good laugh - without the rows.
The only festive “hangover” is the continued roof problems at the theatre, which must not be allowed to mar this excellent attempt to make it a year-round venue.
t The show runs until January 6. Box office 01263 512495 or visit www.thecromerpier.com for further details.