4 min read
Blackpool Grand Theatre has announced that with the generous support of producer Martin Dodd of UK Productions, panto legend, BBC Radio Lancashire presenter, and Britain’s Got Talent ‘finalist’ Steve Royle, and special guest West End and TV’s Tom Lister a condensed and COVID-safe pantomime fundraiser will ensure Christmas isn’t cancelled this year at Blackpool’s Grand!
The Christmas production Pantomonium! will run with strict COVID safeguards for a limited time and for a limited period – a sell-out is guaranteed!
Created by Jon Monie (winner of Best Script at The Great British Pantomime Awards 2019 for ‘Beauty & the Beast’), Pantomonium! is a specially written, one-act pantomime about pantomime.
When the beloved panto character, Fairy Tales, is kidnapped by the villainous Killjoy, an extraordinary adventure unfolds as the hunt for the all-powerful magic book begins.
Stepping out of the chorus-line, a young unnamed girl from the village of Ensemble joins the adventure to help find the missing manuscript. Along for the ride are the handsome Prince Charmless, and the hapless Tilly and Billy Topps from the local Panto Emporium.
With laughter and mayhem at every turn, the forces of good and evil fight to the final page over the future of pantomime itself.
A concentrated pantomime……just add laughter!
Matin Dodd, Producer UK Productions said ‘Blackpool Grand is very close to my heart, and this year would have been our 25th pantomime in this beautiful theatre. Our Wardrobe Department and costumes for all our productions are still housed in Blackpool.
‘Unfortunately, we had to postpone our usual major production as the costs and limitations just wouldn’t work based on COVID safe admission numbers.
‘However, after long discussions and the generous support of Steve Royle, Tom Lister and many of our regular suppliers we’ve created a show, a fantastic show, that’s all about Panto!
‘Full of all the great panto elements Comic, Dame, Prince and Princess (a girl from the village in this case!), and the usual mayhem Steve creates (safely distanced, of course!), we just can’t wait to get started. I am thrilled that we can bring Steve and Tom back together following their hilarious antics in last year’s hit Peter Pan.
‘All profits will go to Blackpool Grand, and we hope with the support of our great audience we create a total sell-out.”
Actor, Comic, and Presenter Steve Royle added ‘It was understandable but heart-breaking getting the call saying Pantomime was postponed. I just simply couldn’t let it go, I’d promised Martin and Ruth I’d do anything to make it work.
‘We kept talking and we all agreed our love for Blackpool’s Grand just made us want to find a way to help secure the theatre’s future and save panto and Christmas at the same time, so a fundraiser of a shorter, more COVID-safe version was considered and we are all working hard to make it work along with the kindness and support of others.
‘I cannot wait to be back on that stage, every performance is going to be so special…oh and very, very, funny!’
Ruth Eastwood, Chief Executive Blackpool Grand Theatre added ‘I’ll tell you, there’s been many sleepless nights! First having to close and then to cancel pantomime – the one show that we know means so much to local families – it’s been devastating. But the wonderful support we have received has been really heart-warming and spurred us on to try and salvage Christmas.
‘After days and nights of conversations about how we could make a production work, I am delighted to say with the support of Martin at UK Productions, Steve Royle and Tom Lister we are able to offer this unique Seasonal experience and help raise funds the theatre desperately needs. I guarantee this production will be from the heart, every single person involved just wants to get back on our beautiful stage and entertain. It has been an incredibly emotional time.
‘This will be a unique production, the only show of 2020 following our closure in March. All socially distanced seats will be the same price and, limited numbers available for each performance, you’ll need to book yours fast!’
Tom Lister joined adding ‘Having performed at Blackpool Grand many times it’s a favourite of mine. I was keen to help them last year with their 125th Anniversary and it’s hard to believe only months later the building was forced to close its doors. Martin contacted me and I agreed we had to do something.
It’s going to be a fantastic production and we all know the quality UK Productions are known for at Blackpool Grand. There is going to be a few less people on stage and a few less of you, so bring your enthusiasm in spades, you’re in for a great time! We can’t wait to see you all.’
Pantomonium! will run at Blackpool Grand Theatre from Friday 18 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021. There will be three performances a day (11am, 3pm, and 7pm, running for approx. 1hr.15mins with no interval). All seats will be £25.50 per person and only available in set bubbles of 2, 3, 4 or six.
General sales open online only Saturday, 10 October 2020 at 7:30pm. Phonelines (limited) will open from Monday, 12 October 2020 from 10am.
For your safety: Strict COVID-safeguards will be in place including track-and-trace, specialist cleaning, temperature checks, facemasks must be worn, and sanitiser will be provided. Tickets will only be available in advance and full customer details will need to be provided for UK Government Track and Trace. If a performance is cancelled full refunds will be given. Tickets will only be available in bubbles of 2, 3, 4, 5 and six. Set timed arrivals will be in place, and late arrivals will not be accepted.
NOTE: Blackpool Grand Theatre will follow the safety and hygiene measures for businesses set out by the UK Government in its performing arts guidance. As such, tickets are only available in fixed groups, where 2, 3, 4, 5 or a maximum of 6 tickets are seated together; each group must only consist of one household or support bubble; each group is distanced by at least 1-metre from the other groups; audiences are not sat face-to-face; everyone is temperature screened on arrival; and face coverings are mandatory throughout the venue (medical awareness bands will be issued to those who are exempt so other guests are aware. Proof will be required). Set arrival times to enter the venue will also be in place, late arrivals will not be accepted.
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