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Open air theatre - celebrity story

Actor, writer and One Show reporter Gyles Brandreth is this year’s celebrity patron of the open-air theatre season at Lytham Hall.

Brandreth, a regular guest and presenter on TV and Radio shows such as Countdown and Just a Minute, is the author of a biography of Dan Leno, Victorian music Hall star, whose life and poignant death will be portrayed in the fourth play of the Lytham Hall season, written by Blackpool’s David Slattery-Christy

This prompted outdoor theatre organiser Julian Wilde to contact Gyles Brandreth, asking for support for the series of five outdoor plays at Lytham Hall which begins with Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s production of Cranford on Sunday 16 June.

“I received an immediate reply, thanks to the power of social media,” said Julian “and it is a delight to have Gyles Brandreth endorsing our 10th season. He is currently about to embark on a nationwide live show talking about all things theatrical, so it is excellent that he has found the time to take an interest in the plays here in Lytham.”

Gyles Brandreth, former MP for Chester and government whip, writes in the season’s programme,

“Many years ago I wrote a biography of Dan Leno: ‘The Funniest Man on Earth’. His story is extraordinary and I’m so glad you’re telling it this summer. Congratulations to everyone involved – especially all the volunteers who make it all happen! Encore!”

Previous leading actors who have supported the Lytham Hall outdoor season have included Dame Judi Dench, Colin Firth, locally educated Stephen Tompkinson and Kate Winslet. Last summer actor Maya Hawke, daughter of Hollywood A listers Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, endorsed the programme.

The full text of the message of support from Gyles Brandreth will be included in the programmes for The Tempest, Frankenstein, the Dan Leno show, starring Lancashire comedian Steve Royle, and Ali Baba which will follow Cranford during July and August.

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