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There’s a northern twist to the five productions planned for the summer of 2019 as Lytham Hall celebrates a decade of successful open air theatre.

Lancashire comedian Steve Royle will star in the first open air performance of “Dan Leno, a

royal jester”, the poignant story of the Victorian music hall legend, written by Blackpool playwright David Slattery-Christy.

Steve Royle has appeared in the panto at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre for the past 16 years

and has his own Saturday show on BBC Radio Lancashire.

He first took on the role of Dan Leno for the play's premiere at last summer’s Lytham Festival and will bring the play to Lytham on August 24 as part of a nationwide tour which includes dates in Eastbourne and Stratford.

A production of Cranford, written in 1851 by Mancunian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, will launch the 2019 season on Sunday 16 June at 6.00 pm. Chapterhouse Theatre Company will present Laura’s Turner’s stage adaptation of a story which Elizabeth Gaskell based on her upbringing in Knutsford.

After two full houses last summer and the largest attendance at any outdoor venue in the country for The Pirates of Penzance, organiser Julian Wilde is confident that there is plenty of appetite for open air theatre in the area.

“In 2010 there were just three performances at Lytham Hall, with 600 attending and five Patrons. For 2019 we have five diverse plays in a season which is supported by no fewer than 23 Patrons. I am expecting to improve on last summer’s attendance total of 2100, particularly as there is no increase in ticket prices.”

Fylde coast fans will welcome the return of outdoor touring specialists Illyria to Lytham Hall with three new shows for 2019. On Sunday 7 July at 6.00 pm artistic director Oliver Gray will stage his new production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and on Saturday August 17 at 7.30 pm Illyria will return with a spectacular dramatisation of Mary Shelley’s iconic novel Frankenstein

To complete the season there’s a high octane show for all the family on the afternoon of Bank Holiday Sunday 25 August at 4.00 pm, as Illyria present their own version of the classic Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

Further details of ticket availability, prices and sales points for all five shows are expected during February.

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