Opening 19 Jan 2023
Writing credits: Jens Meurer
This seaside special is an End-of-the-Pier Variety Show in a theater at, of course, the end of a pier in Cromer, England. It plays every summer, nine times a week for 16 weeks and is the “last kind of show in the world…playing only here and in no other place in the world.” The pier looks out over the North Sea and is closer to Amsterdam, than to London.
Film director Jens Meuer has made a documentary introducing participants and organizers, such as the director, Di Cooke, and even a fisherman, John Lee, whose family has lived there over eight generations since the 1600s. We meet talented singers, dancers, musicians, costumers, and managers; about halfway into the 93 minutes we enjoy their performances on stage. Besides sharing their talents in the musical world, they share comments on their lives in general, especially about politics. This is 2019 and Great Britain is organizing a vote to leave the European Union, i.e., Brexit. Their opinions are not always positive. “Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently for the same reasons.” They consider themselves more European than British. Hamburg is mentioned twice.
Director Jens Meurer is German with international experiences including growing up in South Africa, getting his high-school diploma in Germany, and studying in England. His British wife, Judy Tossell, is one of the film’s producers. This excellent documentary is full of information about Cromer (population about 8000), British opinions re: loyalty to Europe, and musical presentations. Strangely, there was no list of song titles in the credits, but we recognized all of them anyway. (Becky Tan)