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Celebrity backing for outdoor plays

The backing of international stage and screen celebrities for the open air play season at Lytham Hall has been warmly praised.

This summer Lytham-educated Steve Tompkinson, famous for his roles in Ballykissangel, Drop the Dead Donkey and currently DCI Banks, has been the latest to endorse the four play outdoor season and this has delighted organiser Julian Wilde.

“The support we have received this year from Stephen Tompkinson and previously from Kate Winslet, Colin Firth and Dame Judi Dench, all stars with an international standing, is a huge boost to the morale of both the visiting actors and all those helping to stage the performances at Lytham Hall", he said.

Writing in the programme for this season’s final play, Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World on Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon August 28, Stephen Tompkinson says,

“The programme of four outdoor plays at Lytham Hall is an excellent initiative and I wish you all, actors and audiences alike, every success. My own interest in acting was fostered during my school days at St. Bede’s School in Lytham St. Annes where I spent the majority of a very happy upbringing.”

Stephen 50, has achieved continuing success with his TV series for three decades, as well as with acclaimed and diverse stage roles in The Revenger’s Tragedy, Charley’s Aunt and Spamalot.

He continues “Performing any live play is a challenge, especially in the open air, but I am sure that this summer the cast of Illyria will be welcoming the challenge of taking their plays throughout the length and breadth of the country. I hope that their summer tours will go well in warm and sunny weather.”

Julian Wilde feels that next Sunday the six strong cast of Illyria will welcome the encouragement of an established star.

“Many of those involved in touring productions are at the start of their stage careers, so to receive a message from top actors who have played the same roles in their youth is very heartening. The audience at Danny will bring the total to over 10,000 attending the 27 plays at Lytham Hall in the past seven summers and it’s excellent to have support both from the local community and those at the top of their profession.”


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