I very recently attended an ‘end of the Pier show at the Pier Pavilion, performed by John Mann, a regular to our town and others along the South Coast. John is now in his 34th year of Worthing shows and I have to say that he is a very talented performer. His unique style of traditional entertainment has stood the test of time with a host of the world’s most popular music played on the organ and grand piano. Adding to the music is John’s great flair for comedy; his sketches and the like really made for a fun filled afternoon. His end of the pier show included a selection of musical, orchestral and artistic items from ribbon juggling, singing, comedy, through to piano and organ playing. He encourages audience participation in all things, exactly as the “end of the Pier” shows did all those years ago, a trip down the memory lane of nostalgia.
He has a definite following from the community and he makes them feel at home throughout the show. His appreciation society headed by Sarah Bryant, come along to his performances and this boosts his attendees. It was great for our project to have a mention at the start of the show and to see the history of the pier (from pictures from the website) being displayed.
The pavilion is a very versatile theatre, encompassing all generations albeit sometimes at delegated times. This afternoons show was definitely for the older generation although not exclusively (I was there, thoroughly enjoyed myself and don’t consider myself very old!) I did briefly speak to a young boy (approx. 8yrs) who was also there, but the rest of the audience were, I would think, nearer 70 than not! This was an afternoon show so a good time for the older generation to be able to enjoy a performance of this ilk, and be home before the night-time economy takes over in the town. At other times the pavilion is definitely geared to the younger generation with children’s shows etc. and is famous at Christmas for the pantomime which brings together all generations for fun filled afternoons and evenings.
Our Pavilion is an integral part of the Pier and caters for the whole community with its performances, spanning a huge cultural genre.
I do hope the Pier Pavilion is still around in the years to come, changing only to encompass the changing client groups but never losing its fundamental roots of entertainment for all, no matter what your age.