Cromer Pier Christmas Show reveals special tribute to World War One soldiers

Costume designer Laura Whyte and dancer Kris Spencer with a First World War medal. Picture: NICK BUT

Costume designer Laura Whyte and dancer Kris Spencer with a First World War medal. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

She has been dressing stage stars for decades. And her costumes have brought many a show to life.

Theatrical costume maker Beryl Patterson at her home in West Runton. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Theatrical costume maker Beryl Patterson at her home in West Runton. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

But, despite officially being retired, seamstress Beryl Patterson has excelled herself by adding an extra piece of authenticity to this year's Cromer Pier Christmas Show.

She has sewn the medals of her father and her husband's father to the Grenadier Guards uniform worn by the dancers to mark the 100th anniversary of World War One and pay tribute to all those who served their country.

Benjamin Fayers served with the Royal Norfolk Regiment and was wounded in the trenches, while Benjamin Patterson played in the band of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

Costume designer Laura Whyte said: 'It makes this year's show that little bit more special.

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher


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'We've got a very British section in the show this year so we've got some Grenadier Guards and Beryl made the jackets for them.

'When I went to collect them she said she had actually sewn on to each one authentic World War One medals that belonged to her father or her husband's father, so we've got a bit of history there.

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'The cast feel very protective of the medals. It gives them a little bit more stature on stage; they can feel proud to wear something that means so much to those people.'

The Cromer Pier Christmas Show, now in its 12th year, is the last show of its kind in the world and returns by public demand.

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

It is billed as 'a traditional variety show with a magical Christmas twist' and follows on from the success of the pier's summer shows.

Comedian Olly Day - a familiar face at the Pavilion Theatre - hosts this year's show, with the curtain going up next weekend.

He is joined on stage by comedy illusionist Martyn James, vocalists Emily Yarrow and Duncan Sandilands and the Seaside Special Dancers.

And, with guest appearances from Cromer Christmas Choir and children from Marlene's School of Dancing, the Cromer Christmas Show is set to be another cracker.

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Audiences can expect to be entertained with cheeky comedy sketches, big dance numbers full of sequins and sparkle, and Christmas music and songs, hitting just the right note for the festive season.

The five-star reviews on Trip Advisor for last year's show - which recorded record ticket sales - saw loyal patrons and new patrons alike, complimenting the show on its production values, the performers and costumes.

Show director Di Cooke said: 'This is my 11th Cromer Show and it wouldn't be Christmas without it - audiences absolutely love coming here.

'We try to keep it different every year so they know a little bit about what they're going to get and a few surprises as well.'

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show. Olly Day (centre) PHOTO: Nick Butche

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show. Olly Day (centre) PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

While both vocalist Emily Yarrow and the Seaside Dancers wowed audiences at Cromer Pier's Summer Shows earlier this year, comedy illusionist Martyn James last performed in Cromer as part of the Christmas Show in 2013 - when a winter storm washed away part of the pier.

This time he is hoping for a warmer reception.

Recalling the night the storm struck, Martyn said: 'It was 10 o'clock at night and we had already finished our show, there were waves crashing straight over the top of the pier and then the next day half the pier was gone.

'We didn't know the extent of the damage; they had to look underneath it and make sure it was safe and replace all the boards on the pier.'

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Launch of the 2016 Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre Christmas Show.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

But he added: 'Within a week we were open again. It was tremendous.'

This year's Cromer Pier Christmas Show runs from Saturday, November 26, until Friday, December 30.

Martyn added: 'This is a traditional show, very old school, proper variety; not a lot of these shows exist any more and it's just nice to be a part of it.'

Tickets, priced from £10, are available from the Box Office by calling 01263 512495. Alternatively, log on to the pier's website: http://www.cromerpier.co.uk

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