Doing a double

Birds of a feather - Grand Theatre

Birds of a feather - Grand Theatre

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Two of television’s most prolific situation comedy writers have two hit shows coming to Blackpool Grand Theatre this spring.

Comedy writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, who are responsible for some of BBC television’s best loved series including Goodnight Sweetheart, The New Statesman and Shine On Harvey Moon, have now turned their talents to a new stage musical Save The Last Dance, coming to The Grand from Monday June 18.

First though, they’ll be bringing a stage adaptation of their most famous comedy to Blackpool from Tuesday April 24.

One of television’s most popular and fondly-remembered comedies, Birds of a Feather, comes to Blackpool with all three of its original leading cast members, Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph.

Marks and Gran’s series ran on the BBC for nearly 10 years throughout the 1990s remaining not only a classic comedy but also, as a female-centred long-running series, a rare gem.

Now its three stars are recreating their characters, sisters Sharon Theodopolopoudos and Tracy Stubbs and their sex-mad neighbour, Dorien Green, in a new show created especially for the theatre by The Comedy Theatre Company, producers of the highly successful tour of Victoria Wood’s dinnerladies and Keeping Up Appearances.

Pauline Quirke was seen until recently as Emmerdale’s Hazel Rhodes. In 2008 she launched The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, to celebrate her 40 years in the business and now has over 30 branches nationwide.

Both Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph have performed in theatres across the UK in The Vagina Monologues. A regular guest panellist on ITV’s Loose Women Linda has also appeared on stage in Grumpy Old Women Live and Lesley’s theatre credits include Calendar Girls, Hot Flush, Humble Boy and Annie. She won Channel 4’s Celebrity Come Dine with Me in October 2011 and presented a BBC Radio London show alongside Christoper Biggins.

Save the Last Dance takes us back through the music and magic of the early 1960s, a time when each passing week brought another rock ‘n’ roll classic. Writers Marks and Gran, who also wrote the huge success Dreamboats and Petticoats, this time feature the unmistakable music of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman including, A Teenager in Love, Sweets for My Sweet, Viva Las Vegas and, of course, the title show’s rack.

*Tickets at (01253) 743339, online at www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk and the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.