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Cinderella Panto Launch – Grand Theatre


AT THE STRIKE OF TWELVE… the cast of Cinderella, Blackpool Grand Theatre’s pantomime surprised over 150 children from Reception and Year 1 of Anchorsholme Academy at their Academy in Blackpool. This year’s pantomime is set to be bigger and better than ever before and sales are already breaking records on last year!

The cast of Cinderella including JJ Hamblett (Union J) who will star as Prince Charming, Melanie Walters (Gavin and Stacey) as Fairy Godmother, Olivia Birchenough (Channel 5’s Milkshake) as the beautiful Cinderella and Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph returning as the Ugly Sisters all starring alongside panto favourite the incredible Steve Royle (BBC Radio Lancashire) all boarded an open top bus courtesy of Blackpool Transport.

As Blackpool is renowned as a ‘Beach destination’ a creative project was also organised with the schools Head Teacher Graeme Dow. The children were given a vibrant orange Beach Ball so they could artistically design and recreate it into a Pumpkin – the best one being used in the show when they visit. Each year, The Grand is committed to a high-quality family friendly programme including its Pantomime, not just in shows but outreach; Schools, Community Centres and Parks with workshops and creative engagement. The Grand’s aims to help improve literacy, numeracy and confidence. Last year over 10,000 school children visited The Grand to see a show, a further 3000 participated in other activities. This is in addition to presenting Schools Alive and Au Revoir Review events that we run alongside Blackpool Music Service and Blackpool Music Education Hub with the help of Blackpool Council, giving nearly all school children in Blackpool the chance to perform on their ‘Grand’ stage.

Head Teacher Graeme Dow said of the visit; ‘The Reception and Year 1 children of Anchorsholme Academy are thrilled that they have been chosen to help launch the Blackpool Grand Theatre Pantomime, Cinderella, this year. They are so excited to meet the cast of the Pantomime and I am sure they will all have their favourites. I am sure many of them will feel their wish has come true! Performing arts and the magic of stories are an integral part of learning at Anchorsholme and I am certain that the children will be inspired by the experience of being part of the launch of the Pantomime. The Grand Theatre is one of Blackpool’s treasures and one which provides fantastic opportunities for children in all Blackpool schools. Our children at Anchorsholme love the magical times that they have had performing at the theatre as well as watching many amazing shows. They are honoured to be supporting The Grand with the launch of this fantastic Pantomime. Like all of its wonderful Pantomimes before I am sure this one will be the “slipper that fits” and will be a fantastic show for all the family.’

Blackpool’s Grand Theatre this year announced an exciting new project bringing a little ‘Magic & Sparkle’ to young people’s lives this Christmas. The Grand in conjunction with Producer Martin Dodd of UK Productions Ltd is hoping to make the festive season a bit more special for local groups in need with their Magic & Sparkle tickets. This year regular and new Panto-goers are being invited to buy an extra ticket (at a very special rate), which will then be donated to local groups in need.

The Grand aims to be the theatre of choice for Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre and to offer opportunities to enjoy, participate and learn through the arts. We’d like our customers to think in these hard times of others that might not be as fortunate as themselves and how much of an experience they would be giving if they purchased one extra pantomime ticket at a very special rate that we could donate to people who need an experience they won’t ever forget. Seeing the effect of theatre on young people brings home how important it is what we do and the experience and feelings young people go away with.

The Grand as a charity itself is aware of local issues, with families struggling to get by and with the help of partner organisations like Arts Council England, Blackpool Council, Curious Minds and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation we work to support individuals and children that live locally to experiencing the arts. Many of whom have learning difficulties or don’t have the financial support to be one of the few. Our aims are to engage as many children in the arts as possible – financial costs should not cause a barrier.

But this funding will only go so far, so to help us to reach groups that simply can’t afford to take part and experience this delight we are turning to our incredible supporters and customers to see if they can help?

For more information about Cinderella or Magic & Sparkle tickets

Call the Box Office on 01253 290 190

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