Summer’s here

OUT IN THE OPEN: Another full summer of open air theatre is heading to the coast with bookings already good

OUT IN THE OPEN: Another full summer of open air theatre is heading to the coast with bookings already good

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The clocks may only just have sprung forward, but there’s already a healthy demand for tickets for the expanded programme of outdoor plays at Lytham Hall this summer.

Open air specialists The Rain or Shine Theatre Company from Gloucester will launch the season on Tuesday June 14 with their production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, directed by James Reynard.

This will be the 14th successive visit to the area by Rain or Shine who previously have drawn consistently good attendances to King Edward and Queen Mary School and James Reynard is looking forward to being part of the Lytham Hall bill.

“We love the enthusiasm of our loyal followers on the Lancashire coast and the venue at Lytham Hall will be ideal for a larger audience,” he said.

Illyria will return to Lytham Hall after three very successful shows last summer with Oliver Gray’s production of one of the Shakespeare’s most popular comedies Twelfth Night on Wednesday July 6.

And just eight days later there’s a real coup for the town. On Thursday July 14 the Hall will play host to one of the first performances of Illyria’s Pirates of Penzance, the first ever musical production by the company, which will subsequently play around 50 open air dates at outdoor venues throughout the country.

To complete the season there’s a summer family treat with Illyria back in the afternoon of Bank Holiday Sunday August 28 with the Roald Dahl favourite Fantastic Mr Fox.

Julian Wilde who is organising the season of plays is delighted with the initial response both from the public and local businesses.

“All the ticket outlets report people asking for tickets already and the variety in this summer’s programme is very appealing,” he said.

Tickets are on sale online on www.rainorshine.co.uk and www.illyria.uk.com and locally from Lytham Hall (01253) 736652, Lowther Pavilion (01253) 658666,

Plackitt and Booth, Booksellers in Clifton Street, Lytham (01253) 796958, Lytham St. Annes Express office (01253) 724236 and Stringers Homelife (01253) 740700 .