Norfolk family shows not to miss this summer holidays

From circus spectaculars to traditional seaside variety show specials, plus some favourite characters brought to life on stage and the return of the Chuckle Brothers. SIMON PARKIN previews summer shows not to miss.


Yarmouth Hippodrome, Mon-Sat 2.30pm (not Fri)/7.30pm, Sun 2.30pm/6.30pm, �19-�13 (�15-�12 cons), �12.50-�10 children, 01493780223,

The Yarmouth Hippodrome summer show runs throughout the holiday season until September 18. Award-winning comedy duo Clive and Danny return to star in the brand new summer spectacular to join host Jack Jay, comedian Mick Potts, Scruffy the loveable rogue dog act, some death defying aerial acts, dancers, special effects and, of course, the water spectacular. Co-producer Jack Jay said 'I'm excited by the prospect of having the comedy magic of Clive and Danny again combined with the best circus acts in the world and the unique challenge of producing the water spectacular in a show that will be, as always, a one off!'


Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth, July 25, August 1/8/15/22/29, �14.50, 01493 842914,

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Once Yarmouth hosted summer-long variety shows that featured a who's who of stars of the day. Sadly those days have gone and the Britannia Pier plays mainly hosts to a series of one-night shows. The exception is the run of summer shows from every eight-year-old's favourite brothers. The Chuckle Brothers will be in town throughout the summer with Return of the Pirates of the River Rother 2, based, in case you couldn't guess, on Pirates of the Caribbean. Sure to tickle very pre-teen funny bone.


Pavilion Theatre, Cromer Pier, until August 8, �19.50-�10, �10-�9.50 children, �50 family, 01263 512495,

This year celebrating its 35th anniversary Cromer's annual summer season extravaganza is a traditional seaside variety show. It's actually two shows with different productions running simultaneously. Music, specialty acts and lashings of saucy-postcard humour with comedians Dain Cordean and Ben Langley, contortionist Karina Grigorieva, singers Sophie Bloom and Rob McVeigh and the Seaside Special Dancers.


Pavilion Theatre, Gorleston, until October 2, 7.45pm, �16 (�14 cons), 01493 660830,

The ever-popular Showtime Summer Spectacular is back at the Edwardian Pavilion Theatre, for what's thought to be the UK's longest summer season (to October). Along with new recruit Olly Day and old boy Nigel 'Boy' Syer the show boasts a full company of singers, dancers and comedians who are guaranteed to fill your afternoon or evening with entertainment. Performances Tues/Wed/Thurs at 7.30pm.


Norwich Puppet Theatre, July 28-August 11, �7.50 (�6 cons), �5.50 children, �22 family, 01603 629921,

When the Pied Piper plays his flute the rats run, the greedy mayor rubs his hands and the children dance in the Puppet Theatre's popular show which returns this summer. The humorous and irresistible one person show combines a skilful mix of puppetry, foot-tapping live music and storytelling.


The Garage, Chapelfield North, Norwich, August 17-18, �4.50, 01603 283382,

Following last year's sell-out production of Snow White, the big summer production at The Garage, Norwich's youth arts venue, this year is a radical reworking of the classic fairytale. Avoiding the panto clich�s, this production, put together and starring talented local youngsters, relocates the uplifting 'rags-to-riches' story to the end of the Second World War.


Britannia Pier, Great Yarmouth, August 19, �12-�10, 01493 842914,

This live show brings together kid's favourite characters live on stage. The line-up in this all new production for 2012 includes Barney, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Pingu, Thomas the Tank Engine and Fireman Sam. With songs, dance and all manner of zany antics, it has something for the whole family.


Norwich Puppet Theatre, August 22-25/27-29, �7.50 (�6 cons), �5.50 children, �22 family, 01603 629921,

We all know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but which story do we know? This production, designed and directed by Peter O'Rourke, best known for his work on Fantastic Mr. Fox and Alice at Little Angel Theatre, written by Tim Kane with original music by Ben Glasstone, is a retelling of this classic folktale draws on the story's origins in the oral tradition, together with versions by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. Promises puppet theatre and original music and song, inventive staging and witty dialogue.


Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, August 29-31, �12 (�10 cons), �8 children, �32 family, 01603 620917,

Six classic fairy stories and four performers in two new and exciting shows. With a modern twist on classic interweaving fairy tales, the lively and interactive shows are aimed at children from three upwards with more than enough tongue in cheek content to keep the adults and older children involved. Big and bright costumes, lots of live action, singing and maybe even a few custard pies too! It is also at Sheringham Little Theatre on July 24/31, August 8/15/21/27 and September 3.


Norwich Playhouse, August 25-26, �8.50 (�7 cons), 01603 598598,

Anyone with young children will recognise the book Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy by Lynley Dodd. Following a sell-out UK Tour in 2011 and a Christmas season at the Sydney Opera House, Hairy Maclary and his friends are springing off the page once again. With music, singing and several stories, the show features many of the characters from the books like Hercules Morse, as big as a Horse, Bottomley Potts, covered in spots and Schnitzel von Krumm, with the very low tum.