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 remembered. “The heatwave weather in June put everyone in Lytham in an outdoor frame of mind and it was remarkable to have a full house for the first time for a Shakespeare play. The support from local people has been superb.” Assistant organiser Julia Munro believes that the large audiences and supportive atmosphere inspired the casts from Chapterhouse Theatre Company and Illyria to produce five outstanding performances.
“The quality of each of five very contrasting plays was very pleasing.
Even in damp weather the cast of The Adventures of Dr. Dolittle, the final play, gave it their all, much to the delight of the families in the audience.
I think the actors enjoy the responsive audience, the beautiful setting and the acoustics at Lytham Hall and they produce their very best work. The decision to put on an extra play this year has certainly paid off handsomely.”
The final profits from the season will be handed over to Lytham Hall during September for a variety of visible restoration projects which visitors can enjoy. Julian Wilde is full of praise for the support he has experienced in organising the play season. “It’s a great tribute to the efficiency of the professional staff at the Hall and to the hard work of so many Volunteers and The Friends that we have had such a successful summer. Plans for the 2019 season are already well under way with the opening play likely to be an adaptation of Eliza beth Gaskell’s classic novel Cranford in mid June.