‘Triumphant’ end to Lytham Hall plays season

A new location and another full house for an impressive production of HMS Pinafore by the touring Illyria company brought the open air theatre season at Lytham Hall to what organiser Julian Wilde hailed a “triumphant” finale.

By Tony Durkin
Monday, 23rd August 2021, 3:45 pm

A move to a new site withing the grounds, the South Prospect lawn, was necessitated by preparations for this week’s WonderHall concerts and proved a major success, said Julian.

It allowed as the capacity audience of 550 to face the set, framed by the delightful backdrop of the Hall and its surrounding trees, in ideal weather conditions.

The audience included choral and Gilbert and Sullivan Society groups from all over Lancashire and again drew the largest attendance in Illyria’s nationwide tour to almost 50 venues.

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The audience at HMS Pinafore. Picture: Phil Downie

Julian said he felt that HMS Pinafore provided an outstanding climax to the season of notably diverse productions.

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“From a powerful Macbeth in June, to the brilliant Steve Royle as Dan Leno in July, to the quality singing and humour in HMS Pinafore, our audiences have responded to the quality of each production.

“The seven performances by four different companies this summer have each attracted an average of 350 theatregoers and financially I am expecting this to be the most successful in 11 seasons of open air theatre at the Hall.”

Julia Munro from St Annes who has worked with the young Meet and Greet team at the outdoor productions for the past eight summers, hailed the enforced move to the Hall’s South Prospect as an excellent which added to the occasion.

“This is the third lawn used to stage a production here at the Hall and I received many favourable comments,” she said. “It is sheltered and quiet and the knowledgeable audience created their own very supportive atmosphere. The Illyria cast responded superbly, so it was a memorable occasion in every way.”

Plans are already afoot for the 2022 season which will include productions of Jane Eyre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Pirates of Penzance and final audience figures and news of a sizeable donation to the continuing restoration of Lytham Hall are expected early next month.

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