Businesses rally to outdoor plays

Crowds flock to see the latest Iilyria Theate Company production at Lytham Hall
Crowds flock to see the latest Iilyria Theate Company production at Lytham Hall
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BUSINESSES are backing the open-air theatre season currently in full swing at Lytham Hall.

The season, which opened in June with Rain or Shine Theatre’s well-received performance of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, now has well-established local firms as patrons.

Newcomers Booths Supermarkets and Stringer’s Department Store have joined JGL Estates, and Martin Edward Gunson Accountant as supporters of a project which has been extended this year.

Theatre organiser Julian Wilde is delighted by the support which local businesses are giving to the series of four plays.

He said: “It’s excellent to see local and regional business and commerce giving such strong impetus to the open-air theatre season. I have found it very heartening that, despite the recession, there is so much assistance and goodwill from the business community.”

Last year more than 1,000 people attended three plays and Mr Wilde was able to donate £1,800 to the Lytham Hall Appeal which is aiming to raise £3m by September in order to trigger a further £2m of support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

He is hoping to exceed that figure this summer.

And two further St Annes firms have thrown their weight behind the open-air season by becoming ticket outlets.

Matthew Warburton of Apple Bikes in Orchard Road and Carolyn Clapham of newly opened children’s bookshop Storytellers, Inc. of The Crescent were both happy to lend their support.

Mr Wilde added: “Thanks to their initiative we now have seven different ticket sales points both for personal callers, telephone enquiries and online bookings and that’s likely to increase our audiences. It’s very good news.”

The Lytham Hall season continues with a visit by the Illyria Theatre Company’s first ever-musical Pirates of Penzance on July 14 and concludes with a Bank Holiday treat for families as Illyria return to present the Roald Dahl favourite Fantastic Mr. Fox on August 28.