Seaside Special, Cromer

RICHARD BATSON If you are looking for a cure for the World Cup blues – then head to Cromer. The resort's summer show is renowned for its annual dose of pier-end Prozac, which transports audiences away from the problems of everyday life, whether it is the vagaries of English holiday weather, or losing to Brazil.

RICHARD BATSON

If you are looking for a cure for the World Cup blues – then head to Cromer.

The resort's summer show is renowned for its annual dose of pier-end Prozac, which transports audiences away from the problems of everyday life, whether it is the vagaries of English holiday weather, or losing to Brazil.

And showgoers heading for this year's splash of instant sunshine will need to slap on a high fun-factor cream to protect them from a show more dazzling than ever.


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A double celebration of the Special's 25th year, plus creator Bob Marlowe's 20th and probably final season, whetted the appetite even before curtain up.

Opening night revealed a slick, pacy show delivered by a cast brimming with youthful zest, and showing that you don't have to use wartime tunes to spark a variety audience singalong – Elvis does the trick too.

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Twinkling at the head of the cast is debut comic Tucker – whose single name hides a double-barrelled blast of cheeky seaside humour and a warm rapport with the audience.

Sharing top billing is violinist Gary Lovini, returning to the show after a gap of 17 years, and wowing the audience with varied virtuosity ranging from classical and country to folk and gypsy fiddling.

Song soars from the sweet-voiced and charming Vicki Carr, along with a return by Chris Harley with more scope this year to show off his powerful voice.

Another returnee is tap dancer Maurice Kachuk whose happy feet and smiling voice once again proved popular with the crowd.

The Robert Marlowe Dancers get plenty of opportunities to show off their balletic and gymnastic skills. And the show's sparkle is made all the brighter by stunning costumes and some striking scenery and lighting.

This show has got all the hallmarks of one of the best yet. And its appeal should attract increasingly younger audiences, with cameo 'appearances' by Kylie and S Club 7 in a sketch based on Pop Idol – whose judges' verdict on the Special would be: "The Cromer crowds love you. You blew them away."

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