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Thass suffun wuff seein

REVIEW
The Nimmo Twins
Norwich Playhouse

Twenty five years is a long time, hintut?
And that is precisely how long Norfolk’s beloved Nimmo Twins have been entertaining us.

Their current show – A Load of Old Squit – is a celebration of that milestone and mixes old favourites with some new work which will be shown in its full glory in August.

Councillors Vern Gurney and Ken Steggles keep us up to date with goings on “up See Hall” and single mum and cultural icon She-Goo fills us in on her latest activities (Destiny Aguilera is 18 – can you believe it?) as well as joining forces with Professor Newton Flotman for a phonetic guide on how to understand the “looguls”.

Karl Minns brings She-Goo to life…

That would have been handy for “incomers” if they hadn’t already been shown the door by Cyril and his heartfelt message to Londoners, who will need to set their sat-navs to comply.

Keen poet Anne makes a return with her haikus and sonnets and there’s a useful recap of a special sex guide for Norfolk men… Grab your copy of the Cromer Sutra and head for Cley to look for tourists, apparently.

As always, the main brunt of the jokes are Norfolk people ourselves, and Karl Minns and Owen Evans spare nobody their rapier wit.

And the good folk of Eaton and Cringleford have their turn in the genius observations in the old classic Newmarket Road Blues…

As always, local news stories and celebrities take a hit – Mike Liggins appears to be loving his ride on the snails – and Ipswich is in line for its usual battering.

A lot of it is undeniably near the knuckle, and often below the waist, but it is clever and very funny – so funny, in fact, that we lose Karl to laughter at one point where, he admits, he came across material he hadn’t actually seen before… And this honesty and warm rapport is precisely why we love him.

He admits to having had a hard two years during the pandemic, which makes this return even sweeter.

Owen tends to be the less flamboyant of the two, but his poignant lament to The Prince of Wales Road and flawless delivery prove two halves make the perfect comedy pair.

There are still tickets available for the current show, which is at Norwich Playhouse until January 23 and Holt? Who Goes There? will run from August 3 until August 21.

Wildlife photos on show

Norfolk wildlife photographer Paul Richards will be showing his his fine-art nature images in a special exhibition this month.

Paul, who lives in West Runton, has been one of the finalists in three recent Bird Photographer of the Year competitions and had several entries shortlisted in this year’s Wild Art Photography competition.
After a career in countryside management Paul is now following his passion for wildlife through photography.

“I spent my youth and much of my working life watching and enjoying nature,” he said. “Now I am lucky enough to spend more of my spare time photographing nature on the doorstep and further afield as I often venture off to wilderness areas in my camper in search of adventure.”

He moved to Norfolk from Pembrokeshire eight years ago after meeting his partner, Lizzie – also a wildlife photographer – on one such adventure photographing barn owls.

“I enjoy all genres of photography but my specialism is in wildlife photography, getting close to my subjects through fieldcraft skills accumulated by years of watching and working with wildlife,” said Paul. “I particularly enjoy capturing simple aesthetic images of wild birds and animals.”
The exhibition will be at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Cley Marshes Visitor Centre from January 19 until February 1.
It will be open from 10am until 4pm each day and Paul will be on hand to talk about the images and to give advice to any budding wildlife photographers.

He also offers one-to-one workshops to anyone wanting to improve their wildlife photography.
Some of Paul’s work is available to view at www.pronature.co.uk, and you can find his latest work on Facebook under Pronature Photography.

Police search for missing man

Police are appealing for information to help trace a 29-year-old man reported missing from Norwich.
Kyle Hatch was last seen leaving his home address off Marlpit Lane around lunchtime on Wednesday, January 5.

He is described as white, 5ft 8ins tall and slim, with short dark brown hair with a bald patch. When last seen Kyle was wearing a black coat, tan brown wellies and green trousers. He left with an e-scooter, a rucksack and a tent and was going in the direction of Marriott’s Way.

Kyle Hatch is missing and police are concerned for his welfare.

Kyle hasn’t been seen or heard from since and officers are concerned for his welfare.

Searches will continue today and police are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen Kyle or knows of his current whereabouts. Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police immediately on 101 quoting incident number 313 of January 5.

Grants available to hospitality sector

Hospitality businesses in Broadland will soon be able to claim up to £1,000 for loss of revenue due to the effects of the Omicron variant of covid-19.

Organisations paying business rates will be able to apply to Broadland District Council for the grant if they believe that loss of group bookings in December 2021 will result in a loss of more than 20pc of their anticipated revenue.

Jo Copplestone, Broadland’s portfolio holder for economic development, said: “Our hospitality businesses should be thriving at this time of year, catering for office parties, Christmas drinks and get togethers with family and friends, but many are experiencing fewer bookings and cancellations because of the new variant. If your  businesses is affected then contact us, as you may be eligible for a grant.”

The funding is available to pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and wedding and other function venues generally open to the public.

There is also money available for other businesses that are being significantly impacted, including those of a similar nature to the above but not separately rated, those heavily dependent on foreign travel and those directly in the supply chain to the above catering businesses.

The funding comes from the government’s Additional Restrictions Support Grant which was allocated to Broadland.

More information about the grant and how to apply will be advertised on the council’s website over the coming days.

Casting call for starstruck ponies

Having lost the stars of their Nativity service due to creative differences – the donkeys turned out to be too mischievous to follow stage directions – the Weybourne Group of Parishes is sending out another plea.


“We are going to broaden our horizons and ask the lovely people of north Norfolk if anyone has a Shetland or a small pony that is well behaved that would like to step into the role for one night only,” said administrator Sarah Glew.

Weybourne Group of Parishes is looking for a pony similar to this one to star in its Natvicity service. Picture: Redwings


No stage experience is needed and the Nativity service is at Weybourne church at 4pm on Christmas Eve.
Contact Sarah at weybournechurch@gmail.com if you can help.

Help keep an eye on the coast

Whenever anyone goes for a swim, heads out on their paddleboard or sails a boat on the waters off Cromer, someone always has their eyes on them.
The Coastwatch organisation has teams of volunteers spread along our coastline, watching all the activities and making sure help is at hand if needed.


And now they need your help, with a plea for more volunteers.
“We are looking for anybody and everybody,” said media officer Niels Thomas. “You don’t need any previous maritime experience and you get the tremendous feeling that you are contributing to the safety of the beaches and onshore waters.”


The watch station, which is perched on the cliff at East Runton, is manned during daylight hours all year round.

The Cromer Coastwatch station.


The three shifts a day are all shared between 40 volunteers.
“As we require six watchkeepers a day in the summer and four in the winter we are always in need of more volunteers,” said Niels, who has been volunteering for just over a year.
Training takes three months and there is an assessment at the end so it is a commitment and is taken seriously.
As the name suggests, watchkeepers keep watch on people, craft and animals – and, in the case of Cromer, windfarms and rigs – reporting any incidents or potential dangers immediately to the coastguard and lifeboat stations.
The National Coastwatch Institution was set up in 1994 to fill the gaps left after the coastguard stations were cut back. From its first station in Cornwall it now has 57 stations around the British coastline, with four in Norfolk.
“We are the eyes and the ears in the empty spots not covered by the coastguard,” said Niels.

If you’re interested in knowing more, email Niels at niels.thomas@nci.org.uk or visit www.nci.org.uk/stations/cromer

Festive pier show is a cracker

REVIEW

by RICHARD BATSON

Variety is the spice of life – and it is also giving us a bonus covid “booster” this Christmas.

For the Cromer Pier’s festive cocktail of comedy, music, magic and dance serves up a real tonic as the coronavirus lingers on.

It is a selection box of tasty treats that opens with a flurry of snowflakes, feathers, glitz and dancers signalling the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

The finale is an all-singing, all-dancing, all-clapping Sister Act routine. Sandwiched in-between is a slick slideshow including rock and roll, Christmas classics, ballet, illusion, fire-eating and laughter.

Magician Taylor Morgan. Picture: WILLIAM JARVIS

There is something for all tastes – whether you like hard-centre stand-up gags and pulsing dance music, or soft-centre seasonal sentiment in the shape of haunting harmonies and gentle but gasp-inducing tricks.

The glue holding it all together is resident compere Olly Day, whose cheeky banter with the audience, dad and cracker jokes, conjuring and crooning put him in the role of favourite uncle at the Christmas party.

His sidekick is pocket rocket 4ft 8in comic Jo Little, another pier returnee, who has an endless pot of quick-fire gags, many of them man-baiting, some self-deprecating. Her slightly edgy comedy is combined with a powerful singing voice shown in an impressive Edith Piaf song,

The main vocalists are a well-matched pairing of pier favourite Rob McVeigh, a versatile all-round performer  who also directs the show, and newcomer Hayley Moss – best known as the busking “street soprano” from Norwich but whose debut at the venue shows another  dimension to her talent.

As well as an angelic classical voice, she joins in the pop and rock numbers showcasing her dancing moves, too. Katherine Jenkins and Kylie Minogue in one package.

A sprinkle of magic comes from Taylor Morgan, who mystifies with cards, rings, balls and a disappearing lady; his performing partner Rebecca Foyle who fire eats in one stunning routine that combines her flaming sticks with cool ballet.

The cast in full festive feathers.
Heavenly voices sing Hallelujah.
Olly Day with Jo Little. All Pictures: WILLIAM JARVIS

But there is also magic in another show newcomer, a giant video wall where projections ranging from snowy mountains to Santa’s factory provide a stunning backdrop. Top marks to backstage crew member Will Jarvis for creating it.

A six-strong ensemble of dancers and singers add extra energy, atmosphere and spectacle, with musical direction from pier legend Nigel Hogg, stunning costumes from Rachel Dingle and some fantastic lighting, including some “performing icicles” from Amanda Hill.

Other highlights for me included spellbinding versions of Leonard Cohen’s Halleluiah, and a song I had never heard before, Light of the World by Lauren Daigle.

It’s a cracker of show that is a super seasonal  gift for all ages. No need to keep the receipt.

Cromer Pier Christmas Show runs until December 30. Tickets and timings at www.cromerpier.co.uk

The Pier summer show will open on July 2.  

Omicron case confirmed in north Norfolk

One of the eight cases of the new Omicron covid-19 variant announced yesterday has been confirmed as being in north Norfolk.

While the exact location of the case has not been revealed, officials said they had been in contact with the person who had tested positive and their household. Louise Smith, Norfolk’s director of public health, said the case was linked to known travel to South Africa.

She told the BBC that finding a case in the county was not a surprise.

“While new information is still coming in on this variant, the early evidence has clearly shown a high level of transmissibility, and as such we can expect positive cases to be identified across the country, including in our county,” she said.

She urged people to get vaccinated “as soon as possible” and to take up booster offers, which she said would help to “break the chain of transmission”.

The UK Health Security Agency says this brings the total number of confirmed cases of the new variant in England and Scotland to 22.