Lytham Hall’ s open air theatre season made a spectacular start as approaching 450 people flocked to the first outdoor play of the summer at Lytham Hall.
After a wet afternoon the clouds parted and the wind dropped completely to provide superb acoustics amidst the sheltering trees for the Chapterhouse cast of eight who received a rousing ovation for just the third performance in a tour which will take them to 54 venues all over the British Isles.
Chapterhouse’s company manager Eliza Jade who played the role of Nelly Dean praised the reactions of an attentive Lytham audience.
“We could not have wished for a more perceptive audience or a more glorious setting and we all felt welcomed before and during the play. It was a splendid boost to our confidence as we set out on a very demanding summer tour.”
Julian Wilde, organiser of the four play open air season which has the Lytham St. Annes Express as one of its Patrons, is already looking forward to the second play, Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream by Illyria on Friday July 1.
“This was an exceptional start to the summer season with people coming from all over Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside. The hard work put in by a host of Volunteers and Friends of Lytham Hall enabled everything to work well. Many of the audience said that they would certainly be back for another play during the summer. The stillness of the evening and the closeness of the cast made for a unique atmosphere and that is what the audience particularly enjoyed.”
Julia Munro, 17, who, with her friend Hannah Booth was part of the meeting and greeting team, was impressed by the skills of the cast.
“The pace of the play was excellent and I thought that the cast captured the dramatic and poignant turning points as the plot unfolded. Their performance brought out just what a powerful and grim story Wuthering Heights is,” she said.
Meg Hargreaves from the Friends of Lytham Hall felt that the presence of Lytham’s Guardian Concert Band, under the baton of conductor Paul Cooper, added much to the occasion.
“They played a rousing selection of music to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday and put everyone in the right mood to enjoy the evening. The atmosphere was one of the best I have experienced at the Lytham Hall plays.”
Tickets are already selling very well for the three further plays in the Lytham Hall open air theatre season, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore on Sunday July 10 and Danny, the Champion of the World on Sunday August 28. For details and bookings go to www.lythamhall.org.uk www.illyria.uk.com