4 min read
In celebration of its 125th Anniversary, Blackpool’s Grand Theatre has created its own production company and has launched a new summer show, Around The World in 80s Days.
The Grand has commissioned Ian McFarlane as 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.”
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!
Photographed: Andrew Bentley, Christina Meehan and Oliver Mawdsley.
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.
The cast for the show includes Laurie Denman Musical Director and Arranger, Andrew Bentley as Phileas Fogg; Oliver Mawdsley as Passepartout; Daniel Cane who plays villain, Cassius Gold, Justina Kehinde as the mysterious African-American archaeologist Akilah, and Christina Meehan who plays a company member.
Photographed: Christina Meehan and Andrew Bentley.
Christina, 34, brings a Blackpool connection to the cast having first performed at Blackpool Grand as a child. She said: “It’s like I have come full circle now. The first time I was ever on stage was when I was just five years old and that was at the Grand with school, now nearly 30 years later I’m back! I always said I wanted to come back to the Grand in my career so it’s like a dream come true for me.”
Ian McFarlane added: “We’ve started working in the rehearsal room and we are having the best time. The cast are seriously funny, it’s hard to get through a scene without someone laughing hysterically! “Hearing the cast sing these songs in rehearsals is thrilling. I think people are going to be blown away.”
Andrew Howard, Marketing Manager at the Blackpool Grand Theatre said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time, seeing this new musical come together and has us all excited to see the opening. Ian and the cast have come together so well, and the cast can’t wait to get on stage.”
The show will have a special preview week from the Wednesday 31 July to Saturday 3 August where all seats are just £10!
The show will then officially open Wednesday 7 August and run until Saturday 31 August 2019. To book your tickets call 01253 290190, visit the theatres website at blackpoolgrand.co.uk, or visit in person 33 Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HT.
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