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Grand Young Blogger on Our New Season Launch!

By Kieran Wyatt (Grand Young Blogger)

There’s lot to look forward to in the coming year at The Grand Theatre, including new shows for theatregoers of all ages and a finely-tuned family programme, including the return of Sing-a-long-a-FROZEN and The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

Moreover, you may have noticed recent building work going on at The Grand, especially in the box office area. There is good reason for this; near the end of September and the beginning of October this year there will be new wheelchair access in the Grand and exciting new spaces, one of which ingeniously named The Space. All in all, yesterday morning certainly wetted my appetite for a brand new year at The Grand Theatre and I’d like to talk you through a few of the shows I am most looking forward to.

New shows are a large part of what makes up another year at the theatre, and a fresh selection of new productions, some of which like the touring production of The Full Monty, will be beginning their run at Blackpool’s Grand. However, despite a flood of new shows which may catch your eye upon first flick through the programme, there is also a flare throughout this new brochure of familiarity.

Personally, I’m looking most forward to Dreamboats and Miniskirts because of my memory of seeing its fantastic predecessor Dreamboats and Petticoats at the Grand several years before, when through a stroke of luck we managed to waggle out way into a box and as a happy consequence one of the very pretty Petticoats gave me a wink, which my thirteen year old brain took to burgeoning heart.

Big hitter THRILLER LIVE, featuring the infectious music of Michael Jackson, also returns in the near future. Continuing this trend of favourites, in a less obvious way perhaps, is Dawn King’s new adaptation of Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World, which shares certain thematic echoes with last year’s staging of Orwell’s 1984. I don’t want comfort. I want danger. I want sin. This is the almost spine tingling line found on Brave New World’s double spread in The Grand brochure, and if sin is what you’re looking for then there are a series of fresh new shows on at The Grand over the course of this month to November, when Sherlock Holmes & the Ripper Murders closes.

 

Chief Executive Ruth Eastwood quipped, after a rather strange mushroom metaphor, about the sheer amount of blood and murder in the sparkling new programme. Indeed, several shows from the new Miss Marple, starring Judy Cornwell, called A Murder is Announced to the upcoming Murder with Love seem to have a precursor for the enjoyable side of morbid.

For those of a lighter disposition and for those partial to a thoroughly good song there’s Puttin’ on the Ritz from 27 July to 29 August. One of the stars, fresh from ‘Strictly’, Katya Virshilas described the show as a “big production” at Monday morning’s event and eagerly praised the songs within as “iconic numbers”.

On Monday morning there was a special emphasis put on connecting The Grand with Blackpool and shows which would attract both locals and visitors, such as the “full frontal fun” of upcoming The Full Monty, and also giving the community the opportunity to readily interact with The Grand’s new season. This ideal will shine through in April 2016, when the young people of Poulton Drama join forces with the mighty RSC to produce a very special series of performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at The Grand. Heralded as “a play for the nation”, knowing my experience of recent RSC performances at The Grand this one is sure to delight in under a year’s time.

Overall, the newly released season of shows at the Grand Theatre is a varied brochure of work combining old flavours, such as recent precursor for violent dystopia, with the jolly optimism of musicals such as FROZEN and the recently announced pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, this year starring Su Pollard as the Evil Queen. As always, however, there is also a taste of something new, whether from the new line of contemporary dance, including Joss Arnott’s 5|0, or a spanking new Peppa Pig Show.

So, you must pick up a new brochure, fresh from the printing press, and dive into another fantastic year at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool.

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