Illyria bid a foxy farewell

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It’s a marathon not a sprint. That’s the philosophy of outdoor theatre specialists Illyria who return to Lytham Hall for this summer’s final open air production on Bank Holiday Sunday at 4.30pm.

Roald Dahl’s popular children’s novel Fantastic Mr Fox, adapted for the stage by David Wood, reaches the Fylde Coast towards the end of a marathon 101 day tour which has seen Illyria give 80 performances in 66 different venues.

Artistic Director Oliver Gray, who this year celebrates 20 years since he founded Illyria said: “The Lytham audiences are always wonderfully responsive and this, together with the splendour of the venue, always inspires the cast.”

Last month driving rain for their performance of Twelfth Night at Lytham Hall was followed by a perfect evening and a record attendance of 470 for its first-ever musical, Pirates of Penzance.

Julian Wilde, organiser of the outdoor season, is expecting a sizeable audience with the town in outdoor mood following the success of the recent Lytham Proms.

“I feel that they have complemented the open air theatre performances this year very well,” he said. “Illyria have really built up their following here in Lytham. I think we are in for a memorable finale to another encouraging season.”

Gates will open for picnics at 3pm and guests must bring their own seating for a show which will run for 95 minutes, including the interval.