Olly Day joins cast for Christmas seaside special
Derek JamesIt's not a panto but a festival of festive fun showcasing Norfolk talent. Derek James looks at what is on offer at Cromer Pier this Christmas.Derek James
It may be cold outside but inside the theatre the temperature will rise and the sun will shine as 'locals' celebrate Christmas the Norfolk way with an all-action and colourful Cromer Seaside Special.
'This really is going to be a wonderful show and I am not just saying that because I am in it!' laughed the popular Norfolk showman Olly Day who is starring in it alongside fellow Norfolk boys Keith Loads and Eddie Bushell and up-and-coming singer Sophie Bloom.
'The sets have been designed by Ian Westbrook at 3D Creations and are quite staggering. This is going to be a bright and breezy show for the whole family and we are sure people are going to love it,' he said.
This is the first time in many years that the boy Olly has been part of a team working together to put on a full-blown show.
'We all get on so well together. The rehearsals have been such great fun. It is 15 years since I appeared in Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal with Christopher Biggins and before that I was part of the team at the Cherry Tree holiday camp.
'But since then, apart from working with a big band, I have been performing on my own for most of the time,' said Olly, who lives near Norwich with his wife Janet and children Eleanor and George.
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And since that panto, he has developed and matured into one of the most talented and popular all-round entertainers in Norfolk and Suffolk. He is a top class comedian, singer and magician.
Olly also travels the world entertaining passengers on cruise ships and says: 'Norfolk humour does travel well but people often ask: 'Do you really speak like that?''
When he left school in Norwich he got a job as a carpet fitter for Trevor Page but always hankered after a life on the stage and soon started winning talent shows.
'I then got a job working for Neville Downing at his magic shop on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich and I'll never forget the day that my hero walked into the shop. It was none other than Tommy Cooper - and I sold him a trick!' he said.
Olly has been a professional entertainer for more than 30 years now and is looking forward to seeing friends, old and new, at the Cromer show.
'It gives me the chance to do some sketches as well as cabaret and it really is a traditional music hall, end-of-the-pier, variety show with some dazzling sets and costumes.
'It has a real feel-good factor and is a great way to celebrate Christmas,' he added.
In the New Year Olly will be back touring the schools all over Norfolk with his much-loved and respected road safety shows.
He was recently honoured for completing his 750th visit. Thousands of children have been enchanted by his show…one with a serious, life-saving, message.
Cromer Seaside Special opens on Saturday, December 5 and runs until December 28. For details and tickets call the box office on 01263 512495 or visit www.cromer-pier.com