BLACKPOOL’S GRAND LAUNCHES PRODUCTION COMPANY
In celebration of its 125th Anniversary Blackpool’s Grand Theatre has launched its own production company – Blackpool Grand Productions Ltd. The company has been created as [for the first time] the theatre will be producing its own summer show, Around The World in 80s Days which will take place this year.
Blackpool’s Grand has commissioned Ian McFarlane as its first writer and director. McFarlane has created the musical show based on Jules Verne’s acclaimed novel Around The World in 80 Days.
On asking McFarlane about where the ideas for Around The World in 80s Days came from he said ‘Well, Ruth Eastwood Chief Executive and the management team at Blackpool’s Grand had been thinking about the theatre producing its own summer show for some time. As this is the theatre’s 125th Birthday, it seemed like the right time to do it.
‘The theatre has a tradition of music shows during the summer period, the idea was to give the audience something extra special. As always, it’s going to be a show that you can expect to know lots of the songs from, but we’ve tried to step it up a gear. There is a story, but we use the 1980’s music to tell it – sometimes in ways that you might not expect, sometimes in ways that will make you laugh but always in a way in which you are going to have a brilliant night out.
‘One of the most beloved adventure stories ever written opens at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre with an exciting twist!’
The musical tells the story of the fabulously wealthy British gentleman Phileas Fogg, as he accepts a bet for half his fortune to prove it really is possible to travel around the world in eighty days. Fogg and his valet set off on a thrilling race against time – outwitting dastardly villains, escaping perilous locales and finding themselves in hilarious situations in this high-octane comedy musical – all mixed with your favourite chart hits from the 1980s!
Songs will include; Gold (Spandau Ballet 1982 No.2), Don’t You Want Me? (The Human League. No. 1 1981), Loveshack (B-52’s 1989 No.2), Take On Me (Aha 1984 No.2), Locomotion (Kylie Minogue 1988 No. 2), I Want To Know What Love Is (Foreigner 1984 No.1), Give It Up (KC & the Sunshine Band 1983 No.1), and Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners 1982 No.1).
The 80s has to be the nation’s favourite decade, big shoulder pads and even bigger hair will collide with one of greatest adapted tales of all time, in this brand-new action and comedy packed show that will keep audiences of all ages captivated.
Grand Theatre Chief Executive Ruth Eastwood said of the venture ‘as Ian McFarlane hails from Preston and spent many happy times here in Blackpool, visiting the Grand Theatre with his mum and even performing in local productions, it’s great to welcome back a professional writer and director to create a really fun and entertaining Blackpool Summer show. The whole team is very excited to be working on this new adventure, it will give us the chance to learn new skills and enjoy the roller-coaster of producing a new work.’
McFarlane added ‘Obviously, this show is brand new and a new concept for The Grand in summer, we needed to give it a Blackpool twist.
‘Music is part of the fabric of Blackpool, all year round there is live music, I don’t know anywhere else like it. And of course, comedy is a giant part of the town’s heritage too. We’ve tried to blend the traditions of Blackpool’s theatre and performance history, our show has taken some influence from music hall, from the pier shows, from variety and woven them together. It’s got lots of gags and is filled with songs that people know. This isn’t a stuffy starched collar telling of the story. Our aim is for people to tap their toes, laugh their socks off and just have a brilliant time.’
Andrew Howard, Marketing Manager for the theatre said ‘Around The World in 80s Days will have a special PREVIEW WEEK from Wednesday 31 July to Saturday 3 August 2019 where all seats are just £10. We wanted to ensure this was the summer show everyone wants to see.
‘In our celebration year (125 Years) we want to offer as many people as possible access to the productions Blackpool’s Grand puts on. In addition, we will be announcing soon a special performance for Hoteliers, taxi drivers and businesses so they can preview the show, so in turn they are in a position to advise visitors to Blackpool what a great show is on offer while they are here.’
The show will officially open Wednesday 7 August and run until Saturday 31 August 2019 – Wednesdays 2pm, Thursdays 2pm and 7:30pm, Fridays 7:30pm, Saturday and Sundays 2pm and 7:30pm
Tickets are £19 to £26 and all Matinees seats are £21 (Conc. £3 off, excluding Preview Performances). Under 18s are £12.50 (all shows). Group discounts are available.
To book tickets call 01253 290190, visit the theatres website at blackpoolgrand.co.uk, or visit in person 33 Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HT.