Cromer Pier Seaside Special: Show One

RICHARD BATSON Pavilion Theatre, Cromer

RICHARD BATSON

If you aim to scale new heights, you might as well do it literally.

This summer show is renowned for its mix of music, comedy and speciality acts. And in a year when the production is “under new management” people will compare it with what has gone before.

Reassuringly for regular showgoers it is, for the most part, as they say in Norfolk “the searm oonly different”.

It is the same blend of comedy, song and dance, licked into a tasty two hours of holiday fun – costumes as bright as deckchairs, gags as saucy as hot dogs.

But for the difference you have to crane your neck to the ceiling.

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We have all seen aerial artist Melissa Merran tumbling from red ribbons in between BBC telly programmes. But how much of a spectacle would it be to dangle from the low roof of the Pavilion?

The answer is – spectacular.

Her performance – part ballet, part gymnastics, part circus – was one of the most amazing things you are likely to see on the end of Cromer Pier, unless someone catches the Loch Ness Monster on a crab line.

And that is the thrill of the show. It has a successful seat-filling formula that new creator Richard Gauntlett has genetically modified very little in the close season laboratory.

But it will always throw up “wow” moments that will have people talking about it for months. And this year it is Melissa's aerial antics.

That is not to belittle the rest of the show. Comic Tucker is back at his chirpy best – winning over the audience with his blend of cheek and charm, along with some plain daft visual gags that see him become a crab and a dog.

Vicki Carr is the girl with a golden voice in a medley of Bond themes and Dolly Parton favourites, while David Lawrence booms out the big songs with a drizzle of humour as ballad dressing.

Multi-instrumentalist Leo Shavers amazed with his ability to blow out a tune on everything from a hosepipe to a seashell.

But as ever the big production numbers remain the show's strength – with swing, circus, and ballet numbers showing off the energy and athleticism of a superb troupe of young dancers, bolstered by slick choreography from Di Cooke, and stunning outfits from Diane Martin.

This show is still very much in the seaside tradition, and still special.

t Seaside Special continues until September 20. Box office: 01263 512495.

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