Company promises night of comedy and culture

PLAY ON The English Touring Theatre returns to Blackpool with a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

PLAY ON The English Touring Theatre returns to Blackpool with a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

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A leading theatre company, dubbed the ‘national theatre of touring’ by Sir Ian McKellan, is making a welcome return to the Grand Theatre next month.

Presenting one of William Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies Twelfth Night, from which the quote “If music be the food of love, play on...” comes, the English Touring Theatre is back in the resort.

There will be no need to cry “O, had I but followed the arts!”, as character Andrew Aguecheek declares in the play, with performances run from Tuesday to Saturday, October 21 to 25.

This time the powerhouse of touring drama joins the award-winning Sheffield Theatre to turn their talented hands to one of Shakespeare’s most glorious and popular comedies of twins, love and mistaken identities.

Fusing vivid story-telling with director Jonathan Munby’s highly distinctive visual style, Twelfth Night includes some of Shakespeare’s best loved characters; including Malvolio, Viola, Sir Toby Belch and Orsino and some of the Bard’s most famous lines.

A shipwreck seperates twins Viola and Sebastian who then begin new lives unknowingly in the same land.

Disguise and deception, unrequited love and confusion follow in this hilarious tale of mischief, madness and infatuation as Viola masquerades as a man to be near the Count she adores, only to be pursued by the woman he loves.

A spokesman from the Grand said: “Spend a deliciously entertaining evening with the Bard in Blackpool as English Touring Theatre brings William Shakespeare’s wonderfully witty Twelfth Night to The Grand for a week of comedy and culture.

“English Touring Theatre makes a welcome return to the Grand following its memorable visits with outstanding performances of Anne Boleyn and Eternal Love.”

Twelfth Night is at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, October 21 to 25, 7.30pm, with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2pm. A pre-show talk takes place on opening night at 6.30pm, and a post show talk after Thursday night’s performance. Captioned and audio described performances are scheduled. Tickets cost from £18.50 from (01253) 290190.