Triple ‘A’ for Grand

Anne Boleyn- Shakespeare Globe and English Touring Theatre, Blackpool Grand
Anne Boleyn- Shakespeare Globe and English Touring Theatre, Blackpool Grand

Blackpool Grand Theatre has secured a ‘triple A’ new season of programmes to run from September until March.

“We have taken a bit of gamble but we surveyed our customers and as much as possible we have based the coming season around what they said they would like to see, said Grand Theatre general manager Neil Thomson. “This season we have embarked on an ambitious programme of quality drama to complement our ever-eclectic offerings.”

The productions come from a number of acclaimed companies which include PW Productions’ An Inspector Calls, the National Theatre production of JB Priestley’s classic thriller; the Touring Consortium Diary of Anne Frank (April 16 to 21) which follows the success of their To Kill a Mocking Bird and the third A’ rated production – Anne Boleyn from Shakespeare’s Globe and English Touring Theatre (April 26 to 30), following two sell out seasons at the Globe in London.

“Research showed that musicals were amongst our strongest and most supported genres and we are happy to announce the long- awaited return of Annie and 42nd Street,” added Neil. “We hope this journey into high class drama whets appetites for future seasons. We have taken a large financial gamble to bring these productions so now it’s up to people to support them.”

Annie starring Su Pollard as Miss Hannigan plus a West End company of 40 is at the Grand from November 22 to 26 and in the musical front it is joined by

Over the Rainbow: The Story of Eva Cassidy (October 28); the ever popular Dreamboats and Petticoats (January 16 to 18); Blackpool Operatic Players’ version of the Tony Award winning Titanic the Musical (April, exactly 100 years after the liner sank on her maiden voyage); Swallows and Amazons (May 8 to 12); and the Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival, 42nd Street (July 2012).

Hot on the heels of family pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (December 2 to January 2) comes Peppa Pig’s Treasure Hunt (January 21 and 22); Fireman Sam (February 18 and 19) and Horse + Bamboo’s Red Riding Hood (March 7 and 8).

Added to already announced comedy line-up are Mike Harding (November 12), Jerry Sadowitz (November 20), Mock The Week’s Milton Jones (November 27) Back, Puppetry of the Penis 3D (October 10) and Russell Kane’s Manscaping (February 26).

Ballet returns this season with the Russian Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia from January 6 to 8 with La Fille mal gardeé (Friday), Nutcracker (Saturday) and Swan Lake (Sunday). They return to the theatre on March 18 and 19 with Sleeping Beauty (Sunday) and Giselle (Monday).

Talented local dancers also take to the stage throughout the season with World At Your Feet Diamond Show, celebrating 60 years of Blackpool’s Whittaker Dance and Drama Centre (February 10 to 12) and Phil Winston’s Theatreworks presenting The Works (March 16 and 17).

On a light-hearted note there’s Girls Night In (October 31 to November 5) and Birds of A Feather, one of television’s most popular and fondly remembered sitcoms comes to the stage with all three of its original cast members, Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph (April 24 to 28).

In partnership with Blackpool Council’s Music Service Wedzi and the World Muzik Makers return (November 16 and 17) and Schools Alive 2012 returns from January 30 to February 3.

Opera is back with the Co-Opera Company’s Carmen (September 11) and The Magic Flute (September 12); Ellen Kent’s productions of La Traviata (November 8) and Madama Butterfly (November 9) before returning with La Bohème on March 6 and Opera della Luna modern, stylish and funny production of The Merry Widow (February 5).

Other shows include the Grand Youth Theatre Company’s production of Eight (September 12 to 14), Poulton Brass Band’s A Night At The Proms (September 18) and their ‘Grand’ Christmas Concert with Carols (December 19), The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers (October 3), the first ever theatre tour of darts game show, Bullseye (October 17), the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (October 23) and Sally Morgan with Psychic Sally on the Road (October 24).

Newcomers include An Evening of Burlesque (November 13) and Feast of Fiddles (April 8). To book for any show call the box office on (01253) 743339, click on www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk, or visit the information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.