Cromer theatre to stage Christmas show

RICHARD BATSON Cromer's seaside theatre is famous for its sunny summer fun and frolics entertainment.But the landmark is becoming a pier for all seasons - by staging a Christmas show for the first time.

RICHARD BATSON

Cromer's seaside theatre is famous for its sunny summer fun and frolics entertainment.

But the landmark is becoming a pier for all seasons - by staging a Christmas show for the first time.

The 35-show festive mini season will take the holiday show mix of comedy, dance and song - and add a sprinkling of extra glitter, tinsel, Santa and carols.


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Pier managers Openwide were toying with staging a pantomime, but decided to stick with the variety show recipe for which the venue is renowned.

Spokesman Bruce Stratton they had been considering a festive production for a couple of years. This year regular customers were quizzed about options in a questionnaire sent out with the Pavilion's Christmas card - which saw major support for a show.

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Midwinter use of the pier had been ruled out in the past, but a recent major revamp of facilities had also made it a possibility, he added.

The decision not to do a pantomime was also influenced by a wish avoid clashing with the one staged by the nearby Sheringham Little Theatre - which, like the pier, is a council-supported arts venue.

Mr Stratton hoped the show would compliment other festive productions in North Norfolk - which range from the long-running and much larger Thursford Spectacular to a magic show at Holt's Auden Theatre which made its debut last year.

He said talks were under way with local hoteliers to promote "turkey and tinsel" breaks during which visitors could visit local shows.

The Christmas Seaside Special will start on December 16 and end on January 6, with ticket prices at the same level as the summer show, £13.50 for adults with various discounts.

People were already making bookings despite not knowing who the stars would be, but relying on the venue's reputation for good variety, added Mr Stratton.

The news of the festive show comes as the Pier announced the full line-up for its 2005 Seaside Special, which runs from June 18 to September 17.

Experienced comedian Barnaby tops the bill, having spent the winter in a Peter Pan pantomime at Croydon, and whose summer seasons include a 1993 visit to Great Yarmouth with Gerry and the Pacemakers and Linda Lusardi.

Adam Porter-Smith returns from last year as the male singer, with Claire Maurer as his female counterpart.

Mandy Muden, who combines magic and comedy, and cellist Jonathan Kitchen complete the main cast, while a six-strong team of dancers is just being finalised following auditions in London this week.

For information and tickets about the Christmas, summer and other celebrity shows at Cromer Pier Pavilion contact the box office on 01263 512495.

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