A play set in the heady days of Northern Soul’s peak popularity is returning to Blackpool as part of a weekend of events.
Once Upon A Time In Wigan will be performed as part of a soul weekender at the Layton Club next week.
It premiered at Manchester Contact Theatre in 2003, and then toured across the North West and beyond including a run at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool.
Now it’s been reworked and will tour ‘non-standard theatre spaces’, starring Blackpool actor Jordan Flemming, who’s recently graduated from ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts).
Jordan will play the lead, 18-year-old Eugene Drennan, in a cast of ‘exciting young professionals’.
Playwright Mick Martin said: “It’s 1976 and 18-year-old Eugene Drennan’s life is going nowhere.
“He’s a butcher boy on Bolton meat market but Eugene is about to make a momentous, life changing discovery - Northern Soul.
“Not just the amazing rhythm and driving beats of the music, but also the incredible, intoxicating atmosphere of the legendary Wigan Casino - the Mecca of Northern Soul.”
Reviews for the original production hailed the story as ‘a stunning, revolting tribute to the power and intensity of Northern Soul, but it is also a study in humanity, passion, and the difference between living and being alive’.
Mick’s new take on the play has been specially created for Northern Soul events, and will follow up the Layton shows with other Northern Soul events and weekenders.
* Once Upon A Time In Wigan, Saturday, September 15, 7.30pm, with soul night and DJs to follow, and 4pm Sunday - with the all-dayer running 3pm to 9pm. Tickets cost £10 from Eventbrite, or £12 on the door.