Lytham Hall has led the country with the record attendance for the recent open air production of The Mikado.
The four play outdoor season which began with Chapterhouse Theatre’s Great Expectations in mid-June has drawn over 1500 spectators to Lytham Hall, including 450 for The Mikado, the largest attendance of Illyria’s nationwide summer tour which visited 29 venues from Inverness to Penzance.
Illyria’s company manager Edward Simpson praised the welcome his cast received at Lytham Hall after travelling from a very windy Edinburgh on the previous evening.
“To play in front of over three times as many people as in Edinburgh on a very still evening in the superb surroundings of Lytham Hall was an absolute delight for the cast and inspired us to put on one of our best performances of the tour,” he said.
The volunteers at Lytham Hall work so hard to make us and the audience feel comfortable and welcome and this creates a wonderfully supportive atmosphere. We very much appreciate their efforts.”
A beautiful Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon also saw families from all over Lancashire and beyond flocking to the performance of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes, with dozens of children seated on rugs in front of the stage. Provisional attendance figures suggest that Lytham Hall may well have again set a record on Illyria’s four month summer tour.
Julian Wilde, organiser of the outdoor theatre season, feels that quality of the performances has been the key to success.
“In a rather unsettled summer I have been pleased to have four dry days for the performances and I think we have continued to build up our base of enthusiasts. The first-class acting in each production has been widely praised and the plays have been pleasingly varied, appealing to a very wide range of theatregoers.
The children in the audience just loved the comedy in The Emperor’s New Clothes and the final appearance of the Emperor was an eye-opener in every way. Everyone simply shrieked!”