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REVIEW: Sister Act, Cromer Pavilion Theatre

What a show, what talent, fantastic costumes, lighting, seamless scene changes and superb choreography.

There are not enough words to describe this wonderful production of Sister Act by Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society, which runs at Cromer Pavilion Theatre until June 2.

The opening gala night on May 26 was packed with an audience expecting the best of shows and they were rewarded with a dazzling display of talented actors and musicians.

The musical is set in Philadelphia USA in December 1978 and follows the fortunes of a nightclub singer, Deloris Van Cartier, after she witnesses her gangster boyfriend shooting one of his gang.

Deloris reports this to the police who then decide to keep their witness safe by hiding her in a convent. Deloris is played by Claire Reynolds Chandler who, with electric presence, is the raunchy, ambitious singer with a soft and vulnerable side.

Her entry into the convent and her shaking up of the nuns’ choir leads to some hilarious moments, not to mention some amazing choreography and singing.

The Mother superior, Amanda Howell, is very dignified trying to keep control of her order. Sister Mary Lazarus, Carol Beatty, and sister Mary Patrick, Selina White, are the mischievous  ringleaders of the nun’s revolution. Deloris’ love interest Eddy, Paul James, is a very sensitive cop. The most hilarious scene in the show is the song Lady in the Long Black Dress, performed by Joey, TJ and Pablo (Graham Woodrow, Neil Robertson and Robin Taylor), had the audience in tears of laughter.

The most surprising new talent that shone was Charlotte Drewell, who was Sister Mary Robert. She commanded the stage in her song and caught the heart of the show. Sister Act is a show not to be missed and you leave smiling. What more can be said.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

BBC’s Antiques Roadshow coming to Cromer

BBC One’s Antiques Roadshow – regularly watched by six million people on Sunday evenings – will be filmed on Cromer Pier and promenade in May.

It will be the first time ever the show has been filmed on a pier.  Antiques Roadshow, one of BBC One’s most popular programmes, attracts an average of 3,000 to 4,000 visitors, spread through a full day.

The event, on May 24, will boost local business, increase footfall in the town in the week before half term and put the North Norfolk District Council-owned Cromer Pier on the international television stage.

A day’s filming creates two shows for broadcast a few months after shooting. The show tours the country, visiting iconic houses, parks and gardens.

The council is spending £275,000 in 2018 to improve the pier facilities and a further £150,000 on annual maintenance surveys for the next five years.

Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: “The wonderful asset that is North Norfolk District Council’s Cromer Pier will be on show to the world through the screens of one of the BBC’s leading television programmes.

“We look forward to hosting an exceptional event in May and seeing the finished product on our television screens later in the year.”

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “It will be most interesting to see what local treasures are brought along and how many may be linked to our coastal or seaside history. What a treat this will be for the residents of North Norfolk!”

Rory Holburn, director and partner at Openwide, which recently won a new 10-year management contract to run Cromer Pier, said: “Openwide are thrilled to be part of the team hosting The Antiques Roadshow in a joint celebration of the best of our heritage.”

Robert Murphy, series producer of Antiques Roadshow, said: “It’s the first time the Roadshow has been to a pier and we’re looking forward to entertaining our visitors by the seaside and along the promenade. It promises to be an entertaining day out at the start of the summer and we’re looking forward to seeing cherished objects and hearing personal stories – make a day of it!”


 

REVIEW: Cromer Christmas Show

The eagerly-awaited Cromer Christmas Show had its opening night on Saturday, November 25.

The weather was wild and windy but the theatre was bright, sparkling and magical inside. The atmosphere was expectant and electric as the audience waited for the curtains to go up and the show begin.

And we weren’t disappointed. Compere Olly Day is a very funny and much-loved entertainer and he started the show as though he was greeting old friends and that’s the charm of the end-of-the-pier show.

On the bill with Olly is Leo Shavers, a versatile musician who gets a tune out of a washing machine pipe among other strange musical objects. His playing of the bagpipes had the audience clapping and stamping their feet.

Emily Yarrow made a welcome return with a voice which held the audience spellbound. Also back is talented vocalist Rob McVeigh. His singing of the two numbers from Joseph was breathtaking. The young dancers from the Marlene School of Dance and the Youth Choir made a very charming contribution to the show.

The scenery, costumes, lighting, music and the dancers all add to the sparkle and this show really stands out as the best so far with a superb and magical backdrop. The scene changes were subtle and skilful lighting changed the atmosphere in a moment.

This is a unique show which we in Norfolk are lucky to have on our doorstep and thank you to North Norfolk District Council and Openwide for making it possible.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

PICTURES: DAVE (HUBBA) ROBERTS

 

Yoga on the pier begins

Cromer Pier played host to the first of six weekly sessions of outdoor sunrise yoga this morning.

The sessions, organised by North Norfolk District Council, start at 7am every Friday for a six week period. They last for an hour and cost £5 per head. Please bring a yoga mat. There is no need to book ahead and all abilities will be made welcome.

If the weather is poor the class will still be held on the pier, but indoors.

Cllr Becky Palmer, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture and who took part in the class this morning, said: “It was a beautiful morning and everyone who came thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“There can’t be many more idyllic places to enjoy yoga than on one of the region’s most striking structures.”

If you have any questions about the classes, email wyn.nurse@north-norfolk.gov.uk.

Cromer Yoga

Enjoying Yoga at sunrise

Enjoying Yoga at sunrise

Paris about to lose her hair, all for charity

Cromer Pavilion front of house supervisor Paris Hay is taking a drastic measure to raise funds for Macmillan cancer care.

She is “braving the shave” to boost the charity which has helped friends and family who have suffered from the disease.

“I have lost friends to cancer and Macmillan is the charity which helps them when they need it,” she said.

The date has been set for Friday, August 5, and Paris is ready to lose her distinctive red locks. She has timed the event to coincide with the dancers in the Summer Show collecting for Macmillan.

So far she has had lots of support from customers and show-goers at the Pavilion Theatre on Cromer Pier, who have been putting donations in a collecting box to help her toward her £500 target. She also has a site for online donations https://bravetheshave.org.uk/shavers/paris-hay/.

And she said: “If anyone is thinking about doing something like this for charity then I would say go for it. You hair will grow back and it’s all for a good cause.”

 

Picture by Molly Foss

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Review: Summer Show success at Cromer Pier Pavilion

The Fantastic Cromer Pier Show had its debut night on Saturday, June 25, and what a show.
Each year it gets better and more entertaining, if thats possible, and this year is no exception.
There’s a talented and international line-up of star performers. Comedy juggler from Australia, James Bustar, had the audience amazed by his skills and, at the same tim,e laughing at his banter, what a find for Cromer.
The two lead vocalists, Emily Yarrow and Rob McVeigh, were an absolute joy to listen to. Rob with his mellow voice was equally at home with ballads and pop, Emily had the audience enthralled with her excerpt rom Die Fledermaus, known as the laughing song.
A local homegrown talent is comedy impressionist Marea Smithson, who appeared on the 2012 Britain’s Got Talent. Marea can also sing and dance. The seaside special dancers are the backbone of the show and, in their fabulous costumes, dazzle and delight throughout. The young performers from Marlene’s School of Dance were charming and danced beautifully.
The man making the show flow seamlessly is compere and comedian Phil Butler, a very funny man with enormous talent.
The costumes, lighting, scenery and music all go to make this as much an experience of the magic of theatre as a variety show. Cromer is very fortunate to have such a venue that is supported by North Norfolk District Council, which brings a variety of talent and entertainment to Norfolk. The Famous Cromer Pier Show runs throughout the summer season.
Kevin and Sandra Stone
Pictures by Dave (Hubba) Roberts
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Here’s something to be proud of

On the evening that England lost to Iceland and dropped out of the Euros, more than 110 people gathered at Cromer beach in a photo that definitely does give us something to be proud of!
This North Norfolk emergency services and lifesavers photo was taken by Chris Taylor and organised by RNLI lifeguard manager Vincent Pank.
The photo features (amongst others) representatives from RNLI Lifeguards, Sheringham RNLI, Cromer RNLI, RNLI Face to Face team, HM Coastguard teams, Norfolk Police, Norfolk Fire Service, East Anglian Air Ambulance, East of England Ambulance Service & Broads Beat.
A large high res. version of the image is available from https://www.dropbox.com/sh/aobe6jjo1tkd84m/AACy2hXR-0_5cMQQTbMhSS06a?dl=0

Life-saving trio ‘man’ up to fundraising challenge

A trio of surfing life-saving buddies have teamed up to take on a fundraising challenge in memory of one member who sadly died.
One of the team is Jess Frere-Smith, whose dad Adam, known fondly as Papa A, passed away in November.
She will be joined by Juli Kett-Brodie and Jo Thompson to complete the Half Ironman at Holkham on July 3 to raise money for the North Norfolk Surf Lifesaving Club .
“My dad was a massive part of the club for years and we want to do this in his memory,” said Jess.
She said Jo had been the first to sign up for the challenge and mentioned it to the other two.
Jess said: “Juli was up for doing it as she has a big birthday this year but she was not sure she’d manage the swim part. I have always been a swimmer, I used to compete until I was 16, but I haven’t swum properly for three years now as I’m struggling with an ongoing shoulder injury.”
Luckily Juli is helping as she is a sports therapist. “I’ve been seeing Juli for treatment and really improving, so I agreed that the swim part was something for me to aim for and my dad is my motivation. So Juli and I are doing it as a team. We then decided it would be great fun for us to race against Jo as we are all part of the club.”
All money raised will go straight into the club to buy kit and keep it running.
Jess has been with the Cromer-based club for about eight years. “My dad used to bring me and my brothers down when it first started up and was little more than a few people and a few boards.
“I think the club is great for young people as it teaches them water safety, first aid and life saving skills as well as allowing them to be part of team of all ages and abilities whilst getting them outside training and keeping fit. Being with the club for so long, it’s such a great feeling seeing some of younger members progress and then go on to work as lifeguards.”
Jess and her family held a memorial at the clubhouse and beach for Adam on May 28, an emotional time for those who attended.
The day included a paddle out into the sea to scatter his ashes and the unveiling of a memorial plaque and chair.
“We then stayed on the beach until dark having a barbecue,” said Jess. “It’s how dad used to love spending his evenings in the summer.”
The girls would welcome any support in sponsorship and all the details can be found on their Just Giving page.

See http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/julijessjo

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