Fortune and the sun smiled on the second outdoor play of the season at Lytham Hall.
Heavy afternoon rain gave way just in time to a sunny evening as Illyria produced a most entertaining production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew in front of an audience of over 300.
Lytham St. Annes born James Dangerfield, now in his fifth season with Illyria and playing in front of his own family and friends, congratulated the audience on the support and reception they gave to the cast.
“The spectators very appreciative indeed and were in a very cheerful frame of mind as the evening became progressively calmer and clearer. The stillness of the setting at Lytham Hall surrounded by the magnificent trees is very helpful for the acoustics and we were really able to relax and perform to our very best,” he said.
A charity raffle in support of Lytham Lifeboats and the St. Luke’s Leprosy Hospital in India raised almost £250 with former Lytham St. Annes Express editor Steve Singleton scooping the top prize of two tickets for the Lytham Proms, donated by organisers Cuffe and Taylor.
Young Czech visitor Johana Mackova, 22, who helped with the organisation and the raffle was impressed both by the generosity of the audience and by the standard of the acting.
“Everyone was very keen to take part in the raffle and I think it was for two very good causes. I was impressed by the actors who were fantastic in their facial expressions and I was amazed by how they can remember all of Shakespeare’s complicated language. It was a wonderful evening,” she said.
Julian Wilde, organiser of the outdoor theatre season at Lytham Hall felt that it was one of Illyria’s best productions.
“It was fast, colourful, accessible and full of humour. I was delighted that the rain relented and that people made a last minute dash to pay at the gate. They were very well rewarded by a top quality interpretation of Shakespeare.”
Illyria will be back at Lytham Hall next Tuesday 14 July, with Oliver Gray’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe with advance ticket sales running at a high level.