Brass band on march to provide open air theatre oomph

Tariq Ahmed - Balckpool Brass band musical director
Tariq Ahmed - Balckpool Brass band musical director
Have your say

Blackpool Brass Band is on the march to Lytham Hall.

The band, under the guidance of musical director Tariq Ahmed (left), will be providing additional open air oomph to the entertainment as Illyria theatre company present its outdoor production of Shakespeare’s Henry V on Tuesday July 3.

The band will play prior to the evening performance and at the interval.

At its Sedburgh Avenue headquarters the members are currently rehearsing a selection of stirring pieces most associated with the country’s military past.

Hearts of Oak, The British Grenadiers, The Dambusters and even Colonel Bogey will all be in the repertoire.

“Henry V is the most patriotic of all Shakespeare’s plays,” said Julian Wilde, organiser of the outdoor season at Lytham Hall which draws theatre goers from all over the Fylde coast and beyond. “The title role has been made famous by Sir Lawrence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh on the stage and in film,” he said. “In this year of the Queen’s Jubilee and the London Olympics I am sure that the presence of a top quality band will help to create a very special atmosphere.”

Tariq Ahmed, who took up the baton as musical director last year, feels that it is an interesting and exciting challenge for his instrumentalists.

“We do regularly travel to engagements all over Lancashire but this will be our first open air performance at Lytham Hall,” he said. “I know that the band members are really looking forward to the occasion. We will be aiming to complement the on-stage action by building up an atmosphere of patriotism. It should be a memorable evening for everyone.”

An audience of around 400 is expected for the two and a half hour play.

Tickets have been selling well for the performance and can be obtained from outlets including Tower Music in Topping Street, Blackpool or on line by going to