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News report - The Lost World

The lure of a giant dinosaur and the best possible summer conditions drew playgoers in their hundreds to Lytham Hall on Sunday for the second play of the open air season.

Illyria brought their production of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World to Lytham Hall on the third date of their two month summer tour which will visit 47 venues from Inverness to Penzance.

With £1000 worth of tickets being sold at the gate, many of the audience of 350, revelling in superb weather, picnicked before the performance. The Mayor and Mayoress of the Fylde, Councillor John Singleton and his wife Geraldine, were special guests for the show.

A sunny, warm and still evening was ideal for company manager Nick Taylor who played the role of fiery Scottish Professor Challenger, as the cast of six took their audience on a journey of exploration, set 100 years ago, to the Amazon Basin and the Lost World where dinosaurs still live.

“Lytham Hall’s lawn and parklands are ideal for outdoor theatre and we really enjoyed the enthusiastic response of the audience both to the play and to the dinosaur. Conditions could not have been better for performing in the open air in one of our favourite settings,” he said.

The additional attraction of a set of songs by Lytham Community Choir, under the baton of musical director Graham Warrington, drew warm praise from Meg Hargreaves from the Friends of Lytham Hall who felt that it created a celebratory atmosphere for the event.

“Their music was a wonderful prelude to the play. It was a top class 45 minutes, full of humour, superb singing and enjoyment both for the choir and the listeners.”

Julian Wilde, organiser of the open air play season, was delighted with the turn out and with the efforts of all those who worked hard to stage a busy four hour event.

“Julia Munro, my youthful assistant, took charge of many aspects of the event this time and is to be congratulated on her efficiency and eye for detail. She ensured that the setting and arrangements for the evening all worked well and this complemented a high energy and accessible performance by Illyria.”

The season continues with a return visit from Illyria with Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado on Sunday 20 August before the finale with a family on Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon 27 August when Illyria’s artistic director Oliver Gray will present his stage version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes.

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