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



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

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

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



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

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.



Cromer Pier borrows ‘speed dating’ for recruitment drive

January isn’t over yet but the team at Cromer Pier are already planning an opportunity for job hunters in February that will allow the pier to extend its seasonal team in time for the Easter holidays.

During February half term on Thursday, February 18, 4p-7pm, Cromer Pier is opening its doors for a Recruitment Drop In which will see the Pavilion Bar and Theatre transformed into a setting similar to what you may see for a speed dating session.

“Recruiting suitable staff is a big challenge for any seasonal business”, said general manager Jo Artherton. “Each year we interview a lot of people who apply to work here during the holidays and at weekends. We wanted to do something different this year to make it more efficient and fun for us, so the management team here have decided that the format used for speed dating is a great way to meet lots of potential new staff in a short amount of time.”

The drop-in session will allow potential candidates to meet existing members of the team and find out more about why it’s so great working on the award-winning pier, as well as talk about what skills and experience they can bring to the job.

“We will have full and part time work available in all areas of the business including Tides Restaurant, Ice Cream Kiosk, Box Office and Gift Shop, Pavilion Bar and Theatre, as well as back stage with the tech crew. We are looking for both people who have experience, for potential supervisor roles, as well as people who may not have experience but a willingness to learn and a positive friendly attitude,” said Jo.

“Job interviews can be very daunting for people and interviewing people individually can be very time consuming for management team. We’re looking for people who can work in all areas as it helps us to be more flexible with running the business, so the idea is that each head of department will have a few minutes with every candidate so we can get a real idea of who will be suitable to work with us.”

Anyone interested in attending the Recruitment Drop In will need to download an application form from the Cromer Pier website, complete it and bring it along with a photograph of themselves on the day. Visit

Cromer Pier from above

Bumper year for Cromer Pier

What a year it has been for Cromer Pier so far – winner of Pier of the Year 2015 and ‘theatre’ category finalist in the Norfolk Arts Awards, it is bucking the trend where other seaside pier theatres struggle.

The famous Cromer Pier Show is now the ONLY ‘End of the Pier’ show in Europe and shows no sign of bowing into the shadows. For the second year running the show has received 5 star reviews from industry papers, bloggers and local press. It has even been hailed by Bradley Walsh, who starred in the show in the early 80’s, as “a ‘must see’ show that should be on everyone’s bucket list”.

Sales are continuing to climb, with a 14% increase in 2014, compared to 2013, and this year sales have increased by a further 10%. The summer in general has proved to be a bumper year for the Pier:

• 31,095 tickets sold for the summer show
• 2,442 Summer Show Souvenir Programmes sold
• 90,891 video views of summer show promo videos on Facebook, reaching 165,084 users
• Just over 23,000 Whippy Ice Creams sold over the summer months
• Approx. 7,000 Ronaldo Ice Cream Tubs sold to audiences who attended the summer show
• Nearly 3,000 crabbing buckets sold so far this year – each family has one bucket between them, so we’ve had approx 12,000 visitors crabbing off Cromer Pier so far this year

The staff at Cromer Pier are very proud of being host to the only ‘end of the pier’ show in Europe – this is with reference to the fact that the show is in-house produced and it runs for a full 3 months. The team believe the success is not only down to the quality of the production but also the marketing has become more targeted and focussed on promoting the quality and heritage of the show, as well as more engagement with group visits.

“Cromer and North Norfolk are increasingly becoming desirable places to holiday, so we are tapping into that as well”, says Jo Artherton, Marketing & Commercial Development Manager, “We now have strong links with local tourism groups so we benefit greatly from cross-promotion in any marketing activity they do regarding the area. The Pier, in general, is an iconic landmark for the North Norfolk coast so our focus is not just advertising the show but advertising the pier as a whole. Nostalgia is also a good reason for our continued success – audiences view the pier and the show as a reminder of traditional British holidays, before it became fashionable to holiday abroad – good old fashioned, cheeky, seaside entertainment. Our humour as well is reminiscent of the old classics that never fail to bring laughter, such as Morecambe and Wise, slapstick comedy and audience participation.

Our production team have carefully crafted a show that appeals to all ages. We do have a loyal customer base of the older generation however younger audiences are being drawn in and younger families are being introduced to the ‘traditional live variety’ in a very affordable way – our lowest price tickets are cheaper than most attractions in the area. The popularity of Britain’s Got Talent and Sunday Night at the Palladium, as popular mainstream variety shows, do help encourage new audiences to enjoy our show”.

The future does look bright and sparkly, just like the costumes the shows produce. Jo Artherton and her team have big plans: “We are looking into hosting weddings, more theatre tours, sponsoring of theatre seats and we can’t wait to celebrate 40 years of The Cromer Pier Show in 2017 – where we’ll be planning something really big and spectacular!”

The Cromer Pier Show will return for its Christmas run, starting on November 28th running through until 30th December. The Christmas Show is fast becoming one of the top ‘must see’ family Christmas shows in Norfolk, rivalling other Norfolk Christmas productions, not only in production values, laugh-out-loud comedy and amazing dance routines but also as a good value for money experience. Tickets start from just £10.

Cromer Pier 3

Cromer Pier Show 2

Cromer Pier Show