What a summer of open air plays at Lytham Hall!

What a summer of open air plays at Lytham Hall it has been, with record attendances and record ticket receipts ! The expanded programme of five plays drew audiences totalling 2100, including full houses for The Merchant of Venice and The Pirates of Penzance, as attendances increased by 10 per cent on the 2017 figure. Support from many Lancashire Gilbert and Sullivan Societies and musical groups enabled Lytham Hall to have the best attendance in the country, 540, for Illyria’s performance of the Pirates of Penzance which was part of a seven week nationwide tour visiting 35 venues. Julian Wilde, organiser of the open air theatre at Lytham Hall, feels that the 2018 season will long be remembere

REVIEW : The Adventures of Dr. Dolittle Lytham Hall

Illyria brought the open air season at Lytham Hall to a happy conclusion with an exuberant and skilled musical staging of Hugh Lofting’s 1920 children’s novel. The cast are excellently led by Edward Simpson in the title role, commanding the stage and expressive both in tone and movement. The deft puppetry of Nicholas Alexander Lee and Callum Stewart, with Jip the dog and the ever-hungry Gub-Gub the pig, is simply entrancing – shades of Warhorse here. Artistic director Oliver Gray and Orchestrator Ben Wiles have produced a dozen catchy songs and Illyria newcomers Laura Trundle and Paula Brett take the lead in belting out the tunes, taking the audience with them by their sheer energy. The man

Bank Holiday family spectacular

Illyria will bring a Bank Holiday family spectacular to Lytham Hall next Sunday 26 August at 4.00 pm as the final show in a record-breaking season of open air theatre. Dr. Dolittle and his menagerie of talking animals, are known to the present generation of children through the films starring Eddie Murphy and Illyria stalwart Edward Simpson will take the title role. Children’s favourites Polynesia the parrot, Gub–Gub the pig and the mythical two-headed Pushmipullyu will all be on stage in an inventive mixture of puppets, marionettes and the actors themselves, as Illyria’s artistic director Oliver Gray displays all his acclaimed ingenuity Illyria’s reputation for spectacular effects and audie

The Pirates of Penzance Lytham Hall

A full house of 540 revelled in a simply outstanding open air performance from Illyria on a calm evening of sudden sunshine at Lytham Hall. The east lawn at the Hall, with an attractive backdrop of trees, proved to be a new and attractive setting for performers and audience alike. Members of many Lancashire G and S and musical groups formed a knowledgeable jury as a significant part of an attentive audience. The first class singing of each member of the seven strong cast brought their cheers and applause, as they combined humour, energy and superb singing throughout, sympathetically accompanied by musical director Richard Healey on keyboards. The expressive Jenny Cullen as Mabel, the towerin

Lytham Shanty Crew added to open air season

There will be an extra tang of the sea in the air for the performance of The Pirates of Penzance at Lytham Hall next Sunday 19 August, thanks to a special appearance by the Lytham St. Annes Shanty Crew. The Shanty Crew will sing their largely unaccompanied songs of sailors and the seas for 35 minutes prior to Illyria’s Gilbert and Sullivan show. Theatre organiser Julian Wilde is delighted with the addition to the evening’s programme. “This is a wonderful innovation for the outdoor theatre season. Our audience greatly enjoyed the music of the Guardian Concert Band and Lytham Community Choir before the performances of Little Women and The Merchant of Venice earlier in the summer and I know th

Open air theatre

This summer’s initiative of staging two open air plays on consecutive weekend evenings at Lytham Hall is all set to be a winner. For the first time in nine seasons the Hall’s 2018 programme includes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles on Saturday 18 August, followed on Sunday 19th by Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, both presented by top open air specialists Illyria. Tickets for both shows have been selling extremely well, with a special agreement increasing the capacity for Pirates to 540. Just 12 hours after Illyria’s Hound of the Baskervilles’ cast have taken down the stage and headed for a performance in Nottingham, a separate Illyria Pirates crew of eig

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