A funny play that deals with serious issues

That’s the take on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice from producer Oliver Gray whose open air theatre company Illyria will bring the second play of the summer to Lytham Hall on Sunday July 8.

After four weeks of rehearsals the cast of five who will play 17 roles between them opened at Falmouth in Cornwall at the start of a tour which will see them give 47 performances in 86 days all over the UK and Holland.

“The Merchant of Venice is a great courtroom drama, said Oliver, “and it is by turns gripping, funny, romantic and thought provoking, about the keeping of promises in particular”.

David Sayers will play Shylock in a cast which includes Beau Jeavons-White and Katy Helps who have both won praise for previous performances at Lytham Hall.

Illyria drew the largest attendances of their nationwide tour to Lytham Hall with two of last summer’s productions and theatre organiser Julian Wilde is pleased to respond to requests for a Shakespeare play at Lytham Hall this summer.

“The extra play in our programme this summer gives us the chance to have a Shakespeare play once again and I am delighted that it is one of his strongest dramas. Tickets are already selling very well both on-line and at our local outlets.”

The 60 strong Lytham Community Choir, under the baton of Graham Warrington, will entertain the audience before the show which will be attended by the Mayor of the Fylde Councillor Peter Collins, accompanied by the Mayoress, his wife Caroline.