Attendance landmark in store

The cast of Illyria's production of Roald Dahl's Danny Champion of the World
The cast of Illyria's production of Roald Dahl's Danny Champion of the World
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There is a landmark in store as preparations are finalised for fourth and final play in Lytham Hall’s current open air theatre season takes place this weekend.

Danny Champion of the World, being staged by the Illyria company on Sunday at 4pm, looks set to take the total attendances for the 27 outdoor performance at the Hall since 2010 over the 10,000 mark.

The three plays staged so far this summer – Chapterhouse’s Wuthering Heights in mid-June, and Illyria’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ruddigore in July – have together attracted some 1,200 theatre enthusiasts, a 10 per cent increase on last summer’s attendance figures.

The performances have also raised thousands of pounds over the years for the Lytham Hall Restoration Appeal Fund, including £3,500 last year – and Hall officials have asked for public support as they continue to come to terms with the shock blow of a £1.7m grant for restoration work at the venue being withdrawn by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Tickets have been selling well for Sunday’s performance of Roald Dahl’s family play and season organiser Julian Wilde is looking forward to an eye-catching finale to a successful summer.

He said: “It will be a real Bank Holiday weekend treat for families and with our numbers and our ticket prices comparing favourably with other venues, we are delighted to be welcoming visitors from all over Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.”

Illyria’s artistic director Oliver Gray feels that Danny has proved to be one his most appealing family shows. 
“It has some very poignant moments in a strong storyline 
and our 95-day tour to 84 different venues has seen attendances consistently high,” he said.

Gates will be open from 2pm for picnickers, with the show finishing at 6pm. The audience should bring their own low-backed seating and suitable clothing. A special area will be reserved for children to sit on the grass in front of the stage.

Tickets, at £13 for adults, £10 for seniors and students, £6.50 for schoolchildren and £3 for pre-school youngsters aged from three, are available from www.illyria.uk.com and as well as from Lytham Hall (01253 736652), Plackitt and Booth Booksellers, Lytham (01253 796958), Lowther Pavilion Box Office (01253 794221), Stringers Homelife, Lytham (01253 740700), Storytellers Inc, St. Annes (01253 781690), Bennetts Bakery, Ansdell (01253 736318).