A flurry of colourful feathers and pulsing Latin dance kicked off the Cromer Pier Show summer season.
And the spectacular high-energy opening number set the tone for a terrific evening of entertainment.
By the time a flag-waving proms finale sparked a standing ovation, regular showgoers were hailing it as one of the best yet.
The fresh-looking line-up is headed by comedy impressionist Ben Nickless, a Britain’s Got Talent finalist who made a fleeting appearance at the venue last year as one of the weekly guest stars. Now he is back as the main man, and he immediately won over the audience with his mix of impersonations, visual comedy and cheeky banter. A star is born.
His foil for opening week was guest performer ventriloquist Steve Hewlett – a firm favourite of Cromer crowds who never fails to impress with his voice throwing, comic timing, dummies, self-mocking humour and ready wit when interacting with the audience.
A speciality act often provides the wow factor in the pier show and Nadia Lumley’s two routines using giant silver hula hoops are acrobatic, balletic and mesmeric.
Two new songsters impressed with their vocal versatility, with Ferdinand De Leon excelling in a Jersey Boys routine and Holly-Jane Crowter in a Celine Dion ballad belter.
Their combination in Shallow also showcased stunning lighting, scenery, costumes and choreography which are a hallmark throughout this show’s high production values.
A six-strong ensemble of dancers and singers add extra energy and depth to a show which is a sparkling kaleidoscope of colourful entertainment from start to finish.
I have seen many pier shows since 1992, watching them evolve over time, and this must be one of the brightest and buzziest yet.
I could tell you more but there would be too many spoilers for the surprises wrapped up in this gorgeous goody bag of seaside variety entertainment.
t The show runs until October 1, and tickets are available at www.cromerpier.co.uk
By Richard Batson