VIDEO AND PICTURES: Cromer Pier Christmas show is launched

The 12 days of a modern Christmas, from parties to present-hunting, are given a sprinkle of showbiz glitter in this year's festive pier show at Cromer.

Embarrassing office party moments, hangovers, a strange vicar and an enchanting choir are all part of the mix in the upbeat variety show.

Devisor Di Cooke said the new 'storyline' approach had gone down well at the venue's summer Seaside Special Show, so it was decided to do the same with the Christmas version.

With the show, now in its seventh year, promoting a 'children go free' offer this year, there was also plenty of content for youngsters including Disney songs and a Glee finale.

Local entertainer Olly Day, who is heading the cast for the third year running, said he did a lot of Christmas shows, including a recent run of 'turkey and tinsel' events but the Cromer one had extra magic because it was the only theatre staging a variety show.

'I used to bring my granny and grandad here for the summer shows in the 1980s and really wanted to be part of it. Now I am, and it's a great thrill,' he said.

Olly will be singing, dancing and doing magic in the show, where his comedy sidekick is former Pontins Bluecoat Dave Mac, who will be delivering quick-fire gags.

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The last two winter shows have been dogged with snowy, icy weather. Pier manager Ian Hall said they were hoping for better conditions this year, but staff were prepared to grit promenade paths.

One cast member who will not worry if there is a big freeze however is singer Lulu Alexandra, who combines her musical theatre skills with also being Britain's number three ice figure skater.

She will be keeping up her training at Norwich and Peterborough during the show season ready for the national championships in February. Lulu turned to showbusiness after suffering double stress fractures in her legs in 1997, but is now back competing.

Her singing partner is Dale Page, who starred in last year's Sheringham panto. The cast is completed by a six-strong team of singers and dancers, along with a dozen children, all under the musical direction of Nigel Hogg.

The curtain goes up on the Christmas Seaside Special on December 3, after two weeks of intensive rehearsals. The 43-show runs through to New Year's eve. The Kids Go Free deals start from December 17.

For tickets and information contact the box office on 01263 512495 or visit www.cromer-pier.com

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