CELEBRATION OF A NEW SEASON
Blackpool’s Grand Theatre held a special celebration full of magic and sparkle for the launch of its new season (19/20). This grand season is packed with a diverse selection of productions from high quality drama and comedy to outstanding dance and world class bagpipers. The Dreams You Have Really Can Come True…
Ruth Eastwood, Grand Theatre Chief Executive said ‘one of the theatre’s aims for this season was to create a daringly different programme of events, something to surprise our local audiences. We wanted to search the UK and beyond to bring together shows that would not normally perform in Blackpool, if not for The Grand.
‘From the most famous bagpipers on the planet, who have performed at T in The Park with the Darkness and cover such giants as Avicci, Ariana Grande, Sam Smith and Katie Perry, a genuinely unique experience to Europe’s longest-established Taiko (drummer) group, both not to be missed.
‘Add to that an incredible line up of stand-up, dance and drama including the first Royal Shakespeare Company triple bill including Measure For Measure, As You Like It and The Taming Of The Shrew’.
The stunning launch was themed ‘The Dreams We Have Really Can Come True’ and focused on the theatre’s upcoming Christmas pantomime Peter Pan. The theatre works with UK Productions who produce the pantomime (and have done for many years) to create one of Blackpool’s most popular yearly traditions, each year boundaries are pushed this year including a brand-new set.
The event had a magical feel with Tinkerbell lighting, Pirate boats, cannons and more. Hosted by BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Hayley Kay, guests were first treated to a performance by Barbara Jackson Theatre Arts to a beautiful rendition of Ruth B’s Lost Boy. Blackpool Councillor Amy Cross spoke about the importance of the arts and The Grand’s place within the Blackpool community.
Next to the stage were West End star Tom Lister, BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Steve Royle and Jack Heasman (Mamma Mia and Miss Saigon) to talk about their upcoming roles Hook, Smee and Peter Pan in pantomime this year (Peter Pan – 6 Dec to 5 Jan). Royle also made a rather surprising announcement in naming next year’s Pantomime. ‘Before we go, I’m delighted to announce on behalf of UK Productions that Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs will be next years pantomime. Due to such popular demand and the volume of people wanting to book in advance, next years panto will go on sale 1 November for 2020/2021’ he said.
Ruth Eastwood, Chief Executive went on to announce an incredible new season including such highlights as; Willy Russell’s Educating Rita, starring Stephen Tomkinson and Jessica Johnson, a triple bill by the RSC, and John Willard’s The Cat and The Canary with star casting. The theatre’s dance season includes; the return of the Russian State Ballet of Siberia (Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and Swan Lake), Gary Clarke’s Wasteland, the award-winning German Cornejo’s Tango Fire and BalletBoyz with their triple bill Deluxe. Also announced was the exhilarating return of Breakin’ Convention, the world’s ground-breaking festival of hip hop dance theatre, presented by legend Jonzi D with a brand-new line up of artists.
Family performances are a key element of the theatre’s programme, this season the theatre presents Northern Ballet’s Little Red Riding Hood, brilliant and creative new stage show based on the multi-award-winning novel and the Hollywood blockbuster Louis Sacher’s HOLES. Direct from the West End, the Olivier Award nominated smash hit The Tiger Who Came To Tea returns and the TV sensation Peppa Pig will appear at The Grand in the new stage show: Best Day Ever.
Hilarious stand-up will be delivered by the keen observational eye of Josh Widdicombe, all-round entertainer Count Arthur Strong, and star of TV sitcom Bad Move and legendary Radio 4 show I’m Sorry I Don’t Have A Clue, Jack Dee. Ed Byre presents his brand-new masterclass in observational comedy, Julian Clary will bare his soul as never before, and Host of BBC One’s All Together Now and team captain on Channel 4s 8 Out Of 10 Cats, ‘Mouth of the South’ Rob Beckett will be popping in.
From local performers, Blackpool Operatic Players will be presenting SHREK The Musical, and Blackpool and the Fylde Light Opera Company present the 70s Musical Boogie Nights. Blackpool Scout Gang Show, Schools Alive and World At Your Feet will make their welcome return also.
Tributes to the greats this season include; Springsteen, Beatles, Bee Gees, Billy Fury, Eagles, Roy Orbison, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Cher, Bon Jovi, and Streisand by Shaftesbury Avenue star Liza Pulman. If you love Country Music, the 50s, 60s, or 70s, big band or legends like Joe Brown Midge Ure or Wilko Johnston, there’s something for all musical tastes.
This diverse programme is not the only change, the theatre celebrated its 125th Anniversary through 2019 with two very special programmes. This season’s programme, which goes through to 2020, has had a change of look, with a stunning copper foil to emphasise the theatres copper dome, which has been its 125th Anniversary fundraising aim to repair.
This packed season of diverse touring shows firmly puts Blackpool’s Grand Theatre ahead of the crowd.
Additional new shows are continually added to the theatre’s programme, so ensure you visit their website regularly at blackpoolgrand.co.uk or call the box office on 01253 290190.
You can also keep up-to-date on what’s on by following them on Twitter (@Grand_Theatre) or Facebook (@blackpoolgrand)