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.