Lancashire outdoor theatre gears up for more crowd-pleasers

Julian Wilde looks forward to the 2022 calendar for Lytham Hall entertainment...

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 3:45 pm
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men’s performance of Macbeth. Picture by Phil Downie

The Rude Mechanicals, Captain Hook, the insane Bertha Mason, Touchstone and Modern Major-General Stanley will all be on stage during the 2022 outdoor theatre season at Lytham Hall.

Outline plans for next summer have been revealed after the 2021 season saw the Hall drawing the largest attendances in the country for three shows by Illyria.

London-based The Lord Chamberlain’s Men will again open the summer programme with Peter Stickney’ s production of Shakespeare’s comedy ‘As You Like It’ on Friday June 17.

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Making their debut at Lytham Hall on Friday July 15v will be Heartbreak Productions, summer touring specialists since 1991. Artistic Director Peter Mimmack will present his adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel ‘Jane Eyre’.

A spokesperson for the outdoor theatre season at the Hall said he was pleased with the combination for the first two plays next summer.

He said: “We always have a warm response to adaptations of classic novels and this is the first time we have had a production of Jane Eyre. Heartbreak Productions are an experienced and accomplished company and I think we are in for a treat.

“The Lord Chamberlain’s Men received a standing ovation for Macbeth this summer and I am expecting a capacity audience for As You Like It, one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies.”

Fylde coast favourites Illyria will be aiming to match their record successes of this August with three contrasting productions. First up will be their 2022 family show ‘Peter Pan’ on Friday, August 12 and just 48 hours later, on Sunday, August 14, a second Illyria cast will be present Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

As a finale to the Hall’s 12th season Illyria are likely to attract another full house of Gilbert and Sullivan fans on Sunday, August 21, as stage artistic director Oliver Gray’s version of ‘ The Pirates of Penzance.’ The spokesperson for the outdoor theatre season at the Hall feels that next summer’s programme has balance and diversity.

He said: “I think that our audiences will be pleased with this programme of five strong and contrasting plays, each performed by one of the country’s leading touring companies. It’s an enticing programme for 2022. ”