Lytham leads the way insists touring supremo

Crowd at one of the previous outdoor theatre performances at Lytham Hall.
Crowd at one of the previous outdoor theatre performances at Lytham Hall.
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Lytham Hall leads the country when it comes to outdoor theatre.

Or at least that’s the view of Edward Simpson, company manager of Illyria, who drew a record attendance to their open air production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.

Performed in blazing summer sunshine last week, the musical attracted a record attendance of 610, a figure which Simpson – who played Koko The Lord High Executioner –feels is unlikely to be beaten.

“The setting and the weather were just perfect and the acoustics are so good that even with such a large audience, we did not have to strain to be heard,” he said.

“We’re in the middle of a 51-date tour and we attracted substantial crowds on our opening night in Kent and at Chepstow Castle, but the Lytham Hall numbers were a sight to behold.

“The cast enjoyed it enormously and Lytham Hall is right up at the top of the tree when it comes to my favourite venues. ”

It has been a hugely successful summer so far for the Lytham Hall outdoor shows, with crowds flocking to see the opening two productions – Pride and Prejudice and As You Like It.

There is one more show to go, with Illyria returning to the Hall on Sunday August 25 to perform Babe The Sheep Pig.

Organiser Julian Wilde is looking forward it. “It will be a different audience profile for Illyria’s family show in the afternoon, but I think we are in for a big audience again and a very big treat,” he said.

Wilde was delighted with the record attendance - and box office receipts - for last week’s Mikado

“The Volunteers and Friends of Lytham Hall did a superb job with the parking and refreshments and helped to create a very special atmosphere,” he added.

“ I will be able to make a record donation to the Lytham Hall appeal fund at the end of the season.”

* Tickets for Babe The Sheep Pig are available at www.
illyria.uk.com and are priced £12 adults, £9.50 senior citizens.