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New Season, New Look #ThisIsMe

#ThisIsMe says Blackpool’s Grand Theatre as it brings together 35 shows and over 160 nights of Live entertainment for their first in 2018, Season announcement.

The stage was set for another unmissable launch, one that never disappoints VIP guests who attend. The enchanting kites, in all colours, hung from the ceiling. At the centre stood a huge lit masterpiece kite, giving prominence and highlight to two of the guest speakers at the event from The Kite Runner, Steve Royle on behalf of Martin Dodd Producer, and its Director Giles Croft.

Producer Martin Dodd from UK Productions has presented an incredible number of shows over the 21 years working with the Grand including Pantomimes, Legally Blonde The Musical, The Kite Runner, Singing In The Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and 42nd Street to name a few.

The special season launch event began for VIP guests when they were welcomed by a towering 18ft live Dinosaur and its babies!

Ruth Eastwood, Blackpool Grand Theatre Chief Executive opened the event with a welcome and highlight on #ThisIsMe, sharing her personal story about how her passion for theatre had been ignited. She said ‘A combination of my local school and my local theatre changed my life. Using memorable, experiential learning to build confidence, self-esteem, co-operation and resilience, my local theatre sent me on a path to my career. I want The Grand to be able to offer the same opportunities to our local children that I was afforded. That’s why I do what I do.’

Guests enjoyed the theatre’s season trailer, and a film on the very varied work the theatre does through its Creative Learning programmes for young people. Eastwood explained it is the generous support of theatre goers, donors and funders who support The Grand’s #PlayYourPart campaign that helps to create and realise dreams for children locally!

Eastwood went on to talk about this seasons campaign ‘#ThisIsMe’, which aims to encourage local, regional and national audience members to share their experiences of live theatre and The Grand telling their followers what they’ve enjoyed in Blackpool.

Blackpool’s Grand Theatre with a consortium of other organisations; VisitBlackpool, LeftCoast, Blackpool’s Arts Service and The Winter Gardens are helping to promote a campaign of ‘Culture Blackpool’. Encouraging people who experience something new and exciting in Blackpool in the arts, music, graffiti, galleries and more to share it on social media. This campaign is not only to raise awareness to local residents but to raise awareness of its Culture to Blackpool’s renowned Tourism industry, over 18 million visitors a year. There is much more going on, and people should delve deeper and explore through cultureblackpool.com and other such sites like altBlackpool.co.uk.

 

 

This seasons musical offer starts with 20th Century Boy (13 to 17 Mar) featuring some of the greatest rock songs ever written. It tells the life story of Marc Bolan and his band T. Rex.

This hit musical returns to the stage to mark the 40th anniversary of the iconic star’s untimely death. This show exposes some of the myths and takes the audience on a tearful yet feel-good journey through Marc’s fascinating life, cut short by a cruel twist of fate. Featuring classic T.Rex 70s hits Ride a White Swan, Metal Guru, I Love to Boogie, 20th Century Boy and many more.

Not to be missed is Son of a Preacher Man (20 to 24 Mar), directed and musically staged by Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood.

Featuring the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield, including The Look Of Love, I Only Want To Be With You, Spooky and of course, the classic Son Of A Preacher Man, this sparklingly funny and sweetly touching new musical play by internationally-renowned writer Warner Brown will have you laughing, crying and singing your heart out to some of the greatest songs ever written.

Local talent doesn’t go amiss, Blackpool Operatic Players are presenting Priscilla Queen of The Desert (4 to 7 Apr), with a dazzling array of outrageous Olivier and Tony award-winning costumes and a hit parade of dance floor favourites including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I Love The Nightlife, this wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS!

Blackpool & Fylde Light Opera Company present two award winning productions in 2018. The Tony and Olivier award-winning Me and My Girl (30 May to 2 Jun), set in the glittering 1930s this musical tells the story of an unapologetically unrefined cockney gentleman named Bill Snibson. Later in the year is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (25 to 29 Sep) celebrating 50 years of one of the world’s favourite films, will have audiences of all ages flying-high with its mixture of madness, intrigue and exuberance. Looking further forward is one of their 2019 productions, the Olivier and Tony award-winning 42nd Street (29 May to 1 Jun 2019).

‘OMG you guys!’ yes, you guessed it Legally Blonde The Musical is coming to Blackpool’s Grand.

The smash hit Broadway and West End Musical based on the best loved movie follows beautiful and popular sorority sister Elle Woods who loves to be pampered and is passionate about pink. When she is dumped by her boyfriend Warner Huntingdon III for a more serious girlfriend she puts down the credit cards and picks up the books. Starring Rita Simons (Roxy Mitchell, BBC’s EastEnders), Lucie Jones (Eurovision ‘Never Give Up On You’) a finalist in the 2009 series of the X Factor, and Bill Ward best known for playing James Barton in Emmerdale and Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street. This all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is a fun-filled, feel-good pink fest, so bend and snap up your tickets!

No season is ever complete without outstanding drama and The Grand never lets Blackpool down… First, we have the Robert Louis Stephenson classic, gothic thriller, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (27 to 31 Mar), starring Phil Daniels whose credits include Quadrophenia and Scum.

Experience a family adventure with the classic The Jungle Book (8 to 12 May), adapted by the Olivier award-winning Jessica Swale (Nell Gwynn), featuring live music created by Joe Stilgoe and directed by Max Webster.

In this exciting new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s family classic, The Jungle Book comes to life in a colourful new show brought to you by the team behind Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild. Loved as a wild and fun tale of family, belonging and identity, this production is packed with memorable characters, new songs and brilliant storytelling.

Following an outstanding West End Run, The Kite Runner (22 to 26 May) comes to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre. Based on Khaled Hosseini’s international bestselling novel, this haunting tale of friendship which spans cultures and continents, follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption.

Blackpool’s Grand will welcome a European Première of a stage adaptation of the classic thriller, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (13 to 17 Nov). Dracula is one of the most universally iconic novels ever written. A monumental, genre-defining classic that is known the world over and remains to this day as the father of all gothic thrillers.

Completely re-imagined by a world-class creative team from London’s West End and Broadway, discover the story that started them all. In Transylvania, enter the castle of Count Dracula and his three brides. Emotionally fulfilling, utterly terrifying, spellbindingly addictive, will this Dracula ever die? This is Dracula as you have never seen him before!

With a focus on dance, Blackpool’s Grand presents multi-award winning Mark Bruce Company with a striking dance theatre adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (17 and 18 Apr), a tragic descent into the darkest sides of ourselves.

This dance theatre production embodies death, violence and passion in abundance – a beautifully harrowing vision of an internal wasteland formed from the pursuit of power through ruthless means.

Introducing our younger attenders into dance and theatre is always a priority for The Grand. Our first offer would be My First Ballet: Swan Lake (5 and 6 May), the production offers a narrator to help our young audience follow the story, and a shortened version, this is the perfect introduction to the magic of ballet, and a fantastic family day out.

This unique collaboration between English National Ballet and English National Ballet School is performed by second year students of English National Ballet School. Since its creation in 2012, over 250,000 people have enjoyed the My First Ballet series.

Not one but two phenomenal children’s dance productions… the retelling of the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale, Ugly Duckling (20 Jun) by Northern Ballet is another perfect opportunity for your little ones to enjoy live ballet, music and theatre for the first time.

Blackpool’s Grand is committed to presenting shows that are fantastic for families like the brand new dino-mite adventure Dinosaur World Live (20 to 22 Apr). Grab your compass and join our intrepid explorer across unchartered territories to discover a pre-historic world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, Giraffatitan, Microraptor and Segnosaurus!

One of the most requested shows for families is Peppa Pig and friends, and guess what, they’re back! in a brand new live show Peppa Pig’s Adventure (23 and 24 Jun).

Join Peppa as she gets ready to go on an exciting camping trip to the woods with George and her school friends, including Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe. With lunch-boxes packed and Daddy Pig driving the bus, Peppa and friends are excited about their outdoor adventure, full of games, laughter and live music!

The Teletubbies Live (6 and 7 Oct) created especially for your little ones is coming to Blackpool! Join the Teletubbies, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po in a show full of love and laughter as they explore the magical world of Teletubbyland.

For our classical lovers we have the return of English Touring Opera as they present an energetic new production of one of the world’s most beloved operas, Mozart’s classic comedy The Marriage of Figaro (9 Jun) featuring a 25-piece Orchestra.

During one eventful day, Figaro and Susanna must overcome every obstacle put in their way by Count Almaviva and his cronies before they can finally be united as man and wife. Blanche McIntyre (Tosca, 2017) returns to direct this most warm-hearted of operas, equally acclaimed for its sublime music and huge sense of fun.

Musica Lirica teams up with the Michael Hall Theatre School in a lively and fun production The Magic Flute (18 Jun) which follows the Bird-catcher and the great prince through the mysterious and enchanted world of the Queen of the Night and her rival, the great Sarastro. Be transported to a mystical land of witches and wizards where nothing is quite what it seems.

Our full-on entertainment offer leads with the week run and return of the spectacular Rat Pack: Live From Las Vegas (26 to 28 Apr) which sends you back in time to the glamorous, golden era of 1950s Las Vegas, when Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin joined forces and become the hottest ticket in town at the famous Sands Hotel. Reimagine a night at The Sands with Frank, Sammy and Dean plus very special guest Ella Fitzgerald, the sensational Burelli Sisters and a stunning big band.

Other one night spectaculars include; ELO Again (10 Mar), Sunday Night At The Grand (11 Mar), Sign Sealed Delivered (1 May), Island In The Stream (2 May), Bowie Experience (3 May), The Roy Orbison Story (20 May), The UK Pink Floyd Experience (8 Jun), Some Guys Have All The Luck (10 Jun), The Bon Jovi Experience (21 Jun), Ruby Wax: Frazzled (5 Jul), The Lancashire Hotpots (7 Jul) Magic of Motown (26 Aug), The Meatloaf Story (2 Nov), Vampires Rock featuring Sam Bailey (19 Jan, 2019).

There’s always barrels of laughs at The Grand with the likes of Milton Jones Is Out There (9 Mar), our LOL Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club (6 Apr, 4 May, 1 Jun, 6 Jul), Tim Vine: Sunset Milk Idiot (6 and 7 Jun), Jon Culshaw: The Great British Take Off (17 Jun) and Gyles Brandreth: Break A Leg (6 Jul). The legend that’s is Sir Ken Dodd returns with his Happiness Show (30 Sep, 14, 21, 28 Oct), and we welcome back a great friend Dave Spikey (4 Oct)

Blackpool’s Grand is committed to working with the local community and performance groups like Blackpool and the Fylde Light Opera Company, Blackpool Operatic Players, Poulton Drama, Blackpool and Lytham 6th, Blackpool and The Fylde College to name a few. This season we are delighted to see Skool of Street return to our stage with Arti-Dodger’s TWIST (27 May), one of Dickens’ most cherished story’s ‘Oliver Twist’ has been cleverly re-imagined in an explosion of Funk for the family. Follow the charismatic ‘Arti’ who despite his misfortune, tries hard to better his impoverished beginnings. The story is told through a thrilling fusion of Spoken word and Urban Dance.

This year’s Christmas offer includes the yearly Grand Christmas Concert (18 Dec). Following year-on-year success the incredible Poulton Brass Band will return with new host Canon Andrew Sage.

Of course, no Christmas would be complete without Pantomime and this year is no exception with the UK Productions and Blackpool’s Grand Theatre present a brand-new production Beauty and The Beast (Fri 7 Dec to Sun 6 Jan 19) with a full star cast including local legend and pantomime extraordinaire Steve Royle (BBC Radio Lancashire).

The Theatre is already programming far into 2019 and one highlight that cannot be praised enough will be the return of the Royal Shakespeare Company following their incredible run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016) with an adaptation of Shakespeare’s most famous story of love at first sight explodes with intense passion in this contemporary production with heart-breaking consequences – Romeo and Juliet (26 Feb to 2 Mar 2019).

Finally, a new season is never complete without mentioning the other activities and great insights that happen. Why not try one of the highly-praised Photographic Sessions (Basic or Advanced) run by internationally renowned Photographer Sean Conboy. Another great way to discover your local theatre is on a Theatre Heritage Tour – discover behind the curtain and delve in to the dressing rooms and more. The Grand also offers a Playreading Group, an excellent way to meet like minded individuals reading some of the greatest plays. Book early for these new season events as they sell out fast.

To book tickets for any of the mention shows in the new season, visit blackpoolgrand.co.uk, call 01253 290190 or visit the Grand Theatre box office on Church Street. #ThisIsMe