Learn about the Grand Theatre from the experts

Linda Tolson with picture of Dora Gray
Linda Tolson with picture of Dora Gray
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Grand Theatre archivists Geoff and Linda Tolson are offering talks to Fylde coast societies, groups and organisations on Blackpool’s premier theatre.

Learn about the history of the Victorian theatre, its stars, the workings of a modern day theatre and its architect and designer Frank Matcham.

If your society, group or organisation is based on the Fylde Coast you can invite the archivists to one of your meetings and find out more about the Grand.

Four talks are currently available.

1. The History of the Grand Theatre. This talk sets the Grand against the backdrop of the transformation of Blackpool from a small bathing resort to one of the country’s leading entertainment centres. Find out about Thomas Sergenson, Frank Matcham and the Tower Company before looking at the decline in audience loyalty to live theatre. The threat of demolition and a decade of struggle by the Friends of the Grand to save and restore the theatre to its former glory.

2. The Stars of the Grand Theatre: 1894 to 1981. From the opening night production starring Wilson Barret as Hamlet, this talk recounts stories and anecdotes of famous stars who have graced the Grand stage.

3. Behind the Scenes at the Grand Theatre. Suitable for groups who are interested in the workings of a present day theatre, the archivists discuss the booking of shows, the roles of different crew members as well as understanding the difficulties of a touring company coming to terms with a new venue every week.

4. Frank Matcham: Architect 1854 to 1920. For groups who have a special interest in architecture and early Blackpool.

Each Theatre Talk lasts between 45 minutes to an hour and can be illustrated with display boards. If you would like to find out more information or to book a talk for your society or organisation, contact the Grand Theatre on (01253) 290111.