The great outdoors

Lytham hall outdoor season
Lytham hall outdoor season
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Forget last week’s wet Easter – picnics and outdoor plays are on the way back to Lytham.

Tickets for the summer season of four plays at Lytham Hall (pictured right) in June, July and August are now on sale at 12 outlets and there’s already an encouraging demand for them.

Chapterhouse Theatre Company will launch the season on Friday June 15.

The company will make their Lytham debut with Richard Main’s production of Jane Austen’s popular novel Emma which has been adapted for the stage by Laura Turner.

Illyria will return to Lytham Hall after three very successful shows last summer with director Oliver Gray’s production of one of Shakespeare’s most patriotic plays, Henry V, on Tuesday July 3.

Oliver Gray is looking forward to being part of the Lytham Hall bill once again.

“We love the enthusiasm of our loyal followers on the Lancashire coast and our choice of Henry V for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year is meeting with much approval,” he said.

Just eight days later there’s a real coup for the venue. On Thursday July 12 the Hall will play host to one of the first performances by Illyria of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta HMS Pinafore.

This second musical production by the company, following a triumph with Pirates of Penzance in 2011, will subsequently play around 50 open air dates at outdoor venues throughout the country.

To complete the season there’s another summer treat for Fylde coast families as Illyria are back in the afternoon of Bank Holiday Sunday August 26 with the Roald Dahl favourite The Twits.

Julian Wilde who is organising the season of plays is delighted with the initial response both from the Lytham and St. Annes public and from local businesses to this summer’s programme.

“All the ticket outlets report that people have been asking for tickets for some time and are pleased that there’s no increase in ticket prices,” he said. “I think the variety in this summer’s programme is especially appealing and it’s excellent to have the performance of HMS Pinafore here right at the beginning of Illyria’s summer tour.

“I am pleased too that three more very prominent businesses names in the town are new patrons – Pemberton’s Dairies, Strong’s Fruit and Vegetables and Solicitors Roland Robinsons and Fentons are all very enthusiastically supporting the programme.”

The new patrons join Booths Supermarkets, Stringers Department Store, JGL Estates, Martin Edward Gunson Accountant and the Lytham St. Annes Express in supporting the Lytham Hall programme.

In addition four new ticket outlets, Bennetts Bakery, Silverdell Books, The Music Cellar and Tower Music will enable open air theatre fans to purchase tickets in Ansdell, Kirkham, Preston and Blackpool respectively.

Tickets from www.illyria.uk.com; www.chapterhouse.org; Lytham Hall (01253 736652); Plackitt and Booth Booksellers, Lytham (01253 796958); Lowther Pavilion (01253 794221); Stringers Homelife (01253 740700); Bennetts Bakers, Ansdell (01253 736318); Apple Bikes, St. Annes (01253 725349); Storytellers Inc., St. Annes (01253 781690); Silverdell Books, Kirkham (01772 683444); Tower Music, Blackpool (01253 627359).