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'Find a star' appeal falls flat

PUBLISHED: 08:38 04 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:10 13 July 2010

Are all of Norfolk's stage stars shy? Has the county's galaxy of talent disappeared into a black hole?

They are the questions being asked by organisers of a talent search - with the prestigious prize of a spot in next summer's Cromer pier show - which has attracted only a trickle of interest.

ARE all of Norfolk's stage stars shy? Has the county's galaxy of talent disappeared into a black hole?

These are the questions being asked by organisers of a talent search - with the prestigious prize of a spot in next summer's Cromer pier show - which has attracted only a trickle of interest.

Norfolk Find a Star is offering the chance for a local act to join the cast of the all-singing, all-dancing Seaside Special in 2009.

But as the original deadline for entries passed on Monday, the lack of entries has prompted a "let's be having you"-style clarion call from pier bosses Openwide International - who have now extended the closing date by a week and dropped the requirement for people to send in a DVD of their act.

Openwide spokesman Bruce Stratton said: "I am both surprised and a little saddened at the lack of response from Norfolk entertainers.

"This is really a great prize for any performer - a chance to work for 15 weeks at a high profile venue in one of the most famous variety shows in England."

Openwide, which is running the competition in association with our sister paper the Eastern Daily Press and BBC Radio Norfolk, is extending the deadline by a week to Monday - and then seeking to hold an open audition to find finalists, due to vie for the coveted cast place in a showcase event at the Pier Pavilion on November 1.

Mr Stratton added: "This is a real opportunity to gain stage experience and get paid for it, be helped by one of the best variety show directors in the county - and who knows you might go on to even bigger things?"

Cromer's show is has a nationwide reputation for excellence and was last year seen by 46,000 people in packed audiences that are the envy of other seaside theatres.

It is keen to recruit a local act to add another dimension to the show's 13-week, 117-performance run from June to September. Entrants can be singers, dancers, musicians, comics, but the venue is particularly keen to find a local speciality act such as a ventriloquist, magician or juggler.

EDP assistant editor Paul Durrant, due to be one of the talent final judges, said: "We know the talent is out there, so don't be shy, give it a go. It might be the start of something big for you."

Acts entering must be available for the full season, including rehearsals, and be 17 years or over by April 1, 2009. Entrants should send a head and shoulders photographer, biography/CV and details of their act, by October 13 to: Norfolk Find a Star, Box Office, Pavilion Theatre, Cromer Pier, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9HE.


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