Cromer pier staff prove ‘show must go on’

Cromer Pier staff are proving the old theatre adage that the show must go on, getting to grips with gritting to make sure everyone will have the chance to see this year's Christmas Show.

In a bid to stave off repeat performances of last year - where snow and ice covered the county, making many roads and paths inaccessible, including the slopes and pier walkway in Cromer, pier staff are brushing up on their gritting skills to make sure there is easy access to the theatre for Christmas Seaside Special show.

Rory Holburn, commercial and operations director for show promoters, Openwide International, said: 'After last year's exceptional snow fall we decided this year we would be prepared so we come up with a plan that will allow us to maintain a clear pathway so that audiences can get to and from the theatre with comparative ease.

'We understand that at a time when councils and the Highways Agency are stretched to their absolute limit that we will need to get involved. We are going to be ready to tackle any snowfall on the public roads and paths down to the pier ourselves.'

The pier staff have been getting training in gritting and also have their own grit bin which will be stationed near the pier.

Their skills may come in handy as a spokesman for North Norfolk District Council said although it was impossible to say for sure, if the slopes down to the pier did become unsafe because of snow and ice, then they would have to look at closing them.

Ian Hall, general manager of Cromer Pier, said: 'We had so many people last year who made a real effort to come out and see the show despite the bad weather, and we did all we could to help them. This year we are taking that a little bit further, because we figured if people are prepared to make that effort to come out and see the show, then we can do our bit to make it as easy as possible for them to get here.'

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He said the district council were in support of the pier staff having a plan to assist their customers.

Providing the entertainment for this year's show on the pier and spreading a little winter-time sparkle of their own, are home-grown comedian, Olly Day, illusionist Oliver Tabor, and singers Aston Dobson, who also performed in this year's summer show, and Alice Redmond. They will be joined by a youth choir made up of talented local students, and of course the dance company.

There is something for everyone from a ballet routine through to a rock 'n' roll finale.

Olly Day said there were plenty of treats in store, including a film melody section where he teams up with Aston and pays tribute to Laurel and Hardy.

He said: 'It is a real traditional Christmas variety show, there will be lots of laughs and dancing and music. It is a great way to start off Christmas.'

This year's Christmas Seaside Special cast have also teamed up with the Big C, to raise awareness of the charity amongst the school community and raise funds for 2011.

As part of this, on Saturday, December 11, children from Belfry, Blackeney, Hindringham and Sheringham primary schools will take part in a torchlight procession along the Pier and perform carols on the Pavilion Theatre stage.

The show opens on Saturday, December 4 and runs until Tuesday, December 28.

Tickets for all shows are on sale now from the Pavilion Theatre box office, which can be contacted on 01263 512495 or via