Lytham Hall is set for a theatrical first as Illyria present Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera Ruddigore in the open air on Sunday 10 July at 6.00.
The performance, the third of four in Lytham Hall’s summer theatre programme, is believed to be the first ever outdoor production of the Gilbert and Sullivan spoof ghost story and comes to the Lancashire coast right at the start of a demanding schedule of 31 performances in 36 days.
Edward Simpson who has appeared in all Illyria’s previous successes at Lytham Hall with The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and Iolanthe is looking forward to the enthusiasm of a knowledgeable Lytham audience.
“Illyria regard Lytham Hall as one of top venues in the country. The acoustics, the woodland setting the warm welcome and the appreciation of the audience make it a delight for our cast. I think they will be surprised by the way Illyria tackle Ruddigore – it’s witty, packed with delightful melodies and shows off Gilbert’s skilled use of words and Sullivan’s tunefulness to great effect.”
As an added bonus for the audience which will include the Mayor of the Fylde Councillor Christine Akeroyd, the 150 strong Lytham Community Choir, under the baton of musical director Graham Warrington, will perform a varied selection of songs before the show. These will include some of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most acclaimed choral numbers which the choir have been rehearsing specially for the occasion.
Julian Wilde, organiser of the Lytham Hall open air theatre season believes that the support from local Gilbert and Sullivan Societies means that the audience will be large and knowledgeable.
“I think it’s going to be an amusing production with some top class singing. Illyria have the happy knack of making every type of show appealing and accessible,” he said.
Gates will open at 4.00 pm for picnics, with Lytham Community Choir performing at 5.00 and Ruddigore starting at 6.00 and ending at 8.30.
Tickets will be available at the gate and the audience is reminded to bring the own seating and to bring clothing appropriate to the weather.