The land of Imagination – A Grand New Season
A Grand New Season – Yesterday, it was strange sitting on the stage at The Grand, turning our backs on Frank Matcham’s magnificent auditorium. It felt almost disrespectful – but when the screen we were facing sprang to life and the music played we were suddenly transported, in a way that only theatre can, to the land of the imagination. Dinosaurs wandered amongst the audience, icons of pantomime made us laugh, Directors invited us to share in a haunting tale of joy and laughter and images of music, dance, song and comedy flashed before our eyes.
It was the launch of the new [Blackpool Grand] Brochure and what a comprehensive programme it turned out to be, ranging from musicals to drama, comedy to dance—- something for everyone whatever their age or preference. But it was so much more than an advertisement for just this theatre. For with all things fun there is also a serious side. We were invited, by those with the responsibility for keeping theatre alive, to reflect on our own beginnings in this vital but fragile world of entertainment. We were reminded that theatre is a partnership with the community beyond its four walls and, even more relevant, we were asked to consider the importance of a shared culture in our own town of Blackpool.
This wonderful Victorian town is steeped in culture from its end of pier shows, circus acrobatics, ballroom dancing, fun fair rides, nineteenth century architecture, street art and sculptures to its illuminated art work, firework displays, dramatic presentations, cabaret shows, funny girls extravaganzas – galleries/ museums —-need I go on. We should no longer see culture within prescribed limitations but widen the definition to include what Blackpool has to offer, co-ordinate and share our unique experiences and embrace the future in partnership and co-operation.
Aesop, as usual, was right – ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’
By Susan Duke – gBlog Guest Blogger