There’s a five-star boost coming to Lytham’s outdoor theatre programme this summer.
The season at Lytham Hall will see an additional performance added to the run, taking it to five dates instead of four as in previous years.
The ninth season of outdoor performances at the hall will open with Little Women, from Chapterhouse Theatre Company on Sunday, June 17, directed by Richard Main and adapted for the stage from Louisa May Alcott’s original by Laura Turner.
Illyria will return to Lytham Hall on Sunday, July 8, after three successful shows last summer, as artistic director Oliver Gray stages his new production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
And the company will present a double header weekend for the first time, staging The Hound Of The Baskervilles and The Pirates Of Penzance on the evenings of Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19.
Season organiser Julian Wilde feels 2018 is the right time to expand the venture, which began with just three plays and five local business patrons in 2010.
“I am a strong believer in the mantra of Sir Alex Ferguson who believed that the time to sign top players was when you had just won the Premiership title,” he said.
“After the two plays from Illyria last August which drew the biggest attendance at any outdoor venue in the country, I think this the moment to build on the appetite and enthusiasm for open air theatre in the area.
“I am especially looking forward to the ‘double-header’ weekend.”
Illyria will also close the season with an as yet to be announced ‘family spectacular’ on Bank Holiday Sunday, August 26.
“I am excited that the balance in next summer’s programme is exceptionally strong, with five diverse and appealing plays - with a Shakespeare play in response to many requests,” Julian added.
“I am confident Lytham Hall will again be among the very best attended venues in the country for outdoor theatre and, if this expansion goes well, it will become a regular feature.”
Ticket sales details to be announced.