All aboard for an open air night of light operetta

James Dangerfield and the Ilyria cast of Pirates of Penzance
James Dangerfield and the Ilyria cast of Pirates of Penzance
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Outdoor theatre enthusiasts on the Fylde coast are going overboard for Pirates.

That’s the message from open air specialists Illyria – who soldiered on through the rain last week with their production of Twelfth Night at Lytham Hall.

One they have dried out the company will be staging its first ever musical, The Pirates of Penzance, at Lytham Hall on Thursday 14 July.

And there’s an added attraction for the Lytham St Annes audience as James Dangerfield, born and educated in the town, will be playing the lead role of Frederick.

Twenty four year old James trained at Guildford School of Acting after many musical and dramatic successes at Lytham’s King Edward and Queen Mary School, the Lytham Academy and Durham University.

He has played in panto three times with Paul Daniels, created the role of Buster Keaton for a new musical and also taken the lead in a production of The Full Monty.

“I am very pleased to have landed the part of Frederick with Illyria and it is wonderful to be playing in my own home town,” said James. “Lytham Hall is one of the very best settings for outdoor plays and I am looking forward both to the performance and the chance to meet up with many old friends too.”

Illyria’s artistic director Oliver Gray is delighted that advance ticket sales have been remarkable at all the 46 venues on their 60 day tour.

“This summer we are celebrating 20 years of Illyria and it’s exciting to do so with a musical,” he said. “We opened our tour at Chepstow Castle just six days before we come to Lytham and advance bookings are very high at all the locations. Maybe people are expecting to see Johnny Depp, but they won’t be disappointed in James Dangerfield.”

Tickets are on sale on line from www.illyria.uk.com and locally from Lytham Hall (01253) 736652; Lowther Pavilion (01253) 794221; Plackitt and Booth Booksellers (01253) 796958; Stringers Homelife (01253) 740700; Apple Bikes (01253) 725349 and Storytellers Inc. (01253) 781690.