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She has been Nell Gwynn on stage and started her career in the theatre as an usher selling ice creams. Now Rebecca Wass is settling into a new role at the helm of Cromer and the Pavilion Theatre. And it’s a challenge she is relishing, particularly the chance to involve the community in more of the events. GAY WEBSTER found out how she is settling in.


It’s a dream job for Rebecca


Rebecca Wass has been living in Norfolk for eight years. It’s the longest she has stayed anywhere since she was a child and she has now thrown herself into a new role within the community.


Rebecca, who at 32 still looks like she might get asked for ID now and again, cannot hide her enthusiasm for her new job as manager of Cromer Pier and for the team around her. She comes across as positive and optimistic, which is borne out by the fact that she copes on a daily basis with a chronic illness which changed the path of her career earlier on. She was part-way through a post graduate teaching course when an attack of Fibromyalgia, which causes pain and stiffness in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, left her bedridden for four months. “It’s a tiring illness as it affects sleeping patterns so your body doesn’t recover each night as it should,” she said. But it did not beat her and once back to strength she took on the challenge of walking the coast of Norfolk to raise money for and awareness of the condition. She has since also cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats for the Have a Heart Foundation. Throughout her higher education and early work years she hasn’t stayed in one place for long. She took the chance of work experience in Finland and Portugal while doing her degree at York, has


review


A fantastic opening night to the summer season, Variety Dotcom is an exploration of communication, starting with telegraph and the Morse code to modern-day Twitter, through music, dance and song. The opening number set the scene for the rest of the show – lively, slick and colourful. The dancers gave a performance worthy of the West End. Compere Dain Cordean moved the performances effortlessly and smoothly from one scene to the next. Dain had the audience in tears of laughter, then when he turned into a


justCromer


worked for various theatre companies around the UK including Sunderland and London.


Her climb up the theatrical ladder has been what many might describe as the old-fashioned way of progressing, starting at the bottom and working up. Her first role as an usher at the Grand Opera House in York was far from glamorous as the theatre was on the river and flooded regularly. “We’d be there at 2am literally bailing out with buckets,” she said. But, from there, she progressed to box


office manager and on to a graduate scheme, which began her rise through the ranks.


While working on a youth project, however, she found a love of working with children, something which she is keen to bring to her new role. She’s was a learning assistant at Thorpe St Andrew, working with children who have special education or behavioural needs, and also spent time working for the youth offending team, the YMCA and Broadland Council. Now she’s hoping to bring some of that community experience into her job as manager at the pier by expanding on what it can offer. Ideas so far include special theatre and activity events aimed at a younger audience, art workshops incorporating the use of the café on the pier and even parent/toddler groups. There’s already been a move towards rewarding the regulars with a loyalty card,


by SANDRA & KEVIN STONE Seaside Special Opening Night, Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre


magician he had the whole theatre on the edge of their seats with “how did he do that?” written on the faces of the audience. Main vocalist David Jon O’Neill had the smoothness of Sinatra and the performance of Matt Monroe. He was equally at home performing solo and as a member of the chorus, with a friendly easy way when chatting between numbers. Comedienne Jo Little brought Yorkshire humour to Norfolk with a blend of observations on marriage and working class life – witty and very funny. Danny


details of which can be found on the new website.


The job is really a dream come true for Rebecca, who realised how much she was missing the theatre aspect of her work when she helped youngsters put on a show running workshops for Creative Arts East.


“Just as that was finishing this job came up,” she said. She already knew the area through acting with Dreamstone Productions, which runs murder mystery events on the North Norfolk Railway. She has also been involved in Mundesley Pageant and the village’s free lunch event. The acting has taken a back seat with her new responsibilities but she will be directing for a performance by Crude Apache at Dragon Hall, Norwich, in March, which coincides with a quieter period for the pier.


Until then, there’s a summer season to see through, getting involved in the town’s chamber of trade again and making sure the pier is part of the town’s celebrations for the carnival and Christmas lights. “It’s a big challenge but I’m very positive about the future,” said Rebecca.


PICTURE: DAVE ROBERTS


Konectbus has named one of its Service 2 Norwich to Holt buses Seaside Special as part of its Day Trip Treats’ promotion. Passengers present a voucher found within the konectexpress 2 timetable leaflet at the attraction to receive the discount.


Posthill made the audience hold their sides with laughter with his impressions of well- known performers, to find out who you need to go and see the show. The evening was a non-stop Kaleidoscope of


dazzling dance routines, fantastic costumes, top-class comedy and songs, including talented young performers from Marlene’s School of Dance. A show to stay long in the memory and not to be missed.


9


PICTURE: ANDY DAVISON


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