In Love With Alma Cogan

The romantic comedy In Love With Alma Cogan tells the story of a theatre manager battling the council over management of the venue, and fearing his lifetime of service to the seaside attraction and the lifeboat crew have been in vain.

It stars Roger Lloyd Pack as theatre manager Norman, and hinges on a brief encounter with singing star Alma Cogan in the 1960s. Also in the cast are Niamh Cusack, Gwyneth Strong, and there is a cameo appearance from movie legend and local resident John Hurt.

Director’s Comment

It’s five years since I wrote the first draft of “In Love with Alma Cogan”, in response to a suggestion from our local film agency, Screen East. It had been hinted that if I were to write a romantic comedy with lots of music and set it in what was then an Objective 2 area for EC regeneration (I kid you not), they would look favourably at investing. Needless to say, they eventually passed on it and not long after passed themselves into history. Twelve drafts of the script later and, faced with the imminent threat of major repairs to the central location, Cromer Pier, we raised some money from some very supportive private investors and we now have a film that we are all very pleased with.

Some time back, my son Oliver had come back to the UK for a winter visit and sitting on the Pier one windy November, eating fish and chips, insisted that I make a film about the Pier and Pavilion Theatre. A certified Los Angeles film nut, he was convinced that Americans would love this quaint setting and all I had to do was come up with a quintessentially British storyline. I had intended writing something for Norfolk resident Roger Lloyd Pack and the tale of Norman, the world weary boss of the Pavilion Theatre began to take shape. The title and main narrative literally came to me in the bath, just before going to see Roger perform Elliot’s “The Wasteland” at the delightful Sheringham Little Theatre.

If it was cold on the pier as I ate fish and chips with my son, it was as nothing to the brutality of filming there during the coldest November in living memory. The details will have to wait for the ‘making of’ DVD extra; but one of our leading, indefatigable actors spoke for all of us one day as she was propelled through the door of Tides Cafe by a sub-zero force nine easterly gale: What the f..k am I doing here, she demanded – and she had a point. Luckily, neither she nor anyone else in the cast and crew dwelled on that question – they all stuck it out through ice, snow and golf ball sized hail – which only goes to show that the Dunkirk spirit is alive and well in the British film industry. I salute them all and look forward to sharing the success of “In Love with Alma Cogan” with them.

Tony Britten, Writer/Director

You can see the trailer on the movie website: and some audience comments on

The movie was released on the film festival circut last October having been shot during the previous winter. It won an award of excellence in the feature film category of this year’s Canada International Film Festival, but is now due to get an airing in its home county.

Tony Britten, whose Holt-based film company Capriol Films made it, said: “International festival audiences of all ages seem to have connected with Norman’s dilemma and the often hilarious encounters that illustrate it, as well as the songs that are integral to the film. Now cinema goers in the region can enjoy the film.”

Sat 8 June 8.00 pm
IN LOVE WITH ALMA COGAN [12A] 99 mins 2012 UK