Licence to thrill

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YOU, the lucky people of Blackpool, are spoilt for choice tonight with big productions at both the Opera House and the Grand Theatre.

Brendan Cole, a dancer with quicker feet than George Best, takes centre stage inside the Winter Gardens with what he’s promised will be a spectacular show.

Cole became a national celebrity eight years ago when he won the first series of the BBC’s Strictly while partnering newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky.

A Kiwi by birth, he started dancing at the age of six and, following a spell as a bricklayer after leaving school aged 17, moved to these shores and became a professional dancer.

Cole is one of the more well-known figures on Strictly for his fine dancing and no-nonsense style and that has allowed him to branch out to a wider audience.

Tonight he will perform his show Licence To Thrill to the Opera House. It is the follow-up to his debut tour - Live and Unjudged - and features a cast of 20 musicians and dancers with music from across the ages, and featuring all sorts of dance styles.

Check ticket availability on 0844 856 1111.

Meanwhile, 100 yards or so away at the Grand, there will be the soaring sound of opera music floating through the walls.

The Co-Opera Co - who specialise in a fresh, youthful take on beloved operatic gems - return to the venue for a third year when they perform the much-loved fairytale Hansel and Gretel.

The new production created by James Bonas, in David Pountney’s English translation, features an orchestra and combines startling visual effects with dramatic singing, bringing to life all the danger, delight and magic of this dearly loved opera for a new generation of opera-goers.

Tonight’s performance starts at 7.30pm, tickets from £16.50. Details from the box office on (01253) 290190.