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From opera, ballet and Shakespeare to variety, musicals and comedy giants, The Grand Theatre caters for every age, pocket and personality.

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Grand Returns to its Original Footprint - for the first time in more than 40 years

The Friends of The Grand today announced that, after thirty-five years of fundraising, they have, at last, achieved their long-held ambition to return the Grand Theatre to its original architectural footprint.

John Buck, Friends of Blackpool Grand Theatre Chairman

When Frank Matcham, the famous Victorian theatre designer, was commissioned to create the Grand Theatre in 1893 its owner, Thomas Sergenson, briefed him to incorporate a number of small shops on Church Street into the design.

However, back in 1981, when the Friends purchased the Grade II* listed building from the then owners, EMI, these units were not included in the sale.  Ever since, the Friends have been saving in a special fund for the day when it might be possible to buy them.

Well, that day has come and John Buck, Chairman of the Friends of the Grand said ‘it’s like a dream come true.  We’ve been saving for this day for years; selling raffle tickets, lapel badges, holding coffee mornings and, even as recently as April we received a bequest from our long-serving Treasurer, Alan Sears, who sadly died earlier this year.  It came with the specific instruction that it should only be spent of the purchase of the shops.  Alan will be smiling down on us this day’.

John, who is now in his seventies, was one of the original group who raised the money to save the theatre from demolition in 1973.  He, along with other passionate and dedicated Friends, cleaned, repaired and painted in their spare time to get the building back on its feet ready for its reopening and dedication from HRH The Prince of Wales in 1981. 

‘We were invited to buy the shops back in the 1990s’ remembers John, ‘but, back then, the owners wanted more than a million pounds for them and we thought we’d never be able to raise that much.  And we were right!  Obviously, times have changed, and, thankfully, we’ve been able raise enough to buy them for less than half that price'.

When the purchase is complete, the deeds of the properties will be donated to the Grand Theatre Trust, the heritage conservation charity which owns and cares for this beautiful historic building. 

Roger Lloyd Jones, Chairman of the Trust said ‘there are many, many people who have made this wonderful purchase possible and I would like to thank everyone who has helped. The theatre is now 122 years old and, as you can imagine, needs constant care and attention.  We hope the shops will prove an asset to the theatre, providing a small but much-needed rental income to be re-invested in the upkeep of this precious architectural gem’.

The Friends of the Grand are a registered Charity.

Today, the Friends of the Grand still volunteer their services as Front of House staff, envelope-stuffers and runners of the theatre’s coffee stall.  Last year, they provided 13,174 hours of voluntary service for the theatre at a value of £88,000.

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New Season at Blackpool Grand Theatre

SEPTEMBER 2016 TO MARCH 2017

New Season at Blackpool Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool announces an exciting new programme of shows for 2016/ 17. With an incredible line-up of drama, musicals, dance, opera, music and comedy–there’s something for everyone to enjoy at The Grand!

Grand Theatre Chief Executive Ruth Eastwood said,

“At the Grand Theatre we always strive to offer our audiences the best quality and variety of arts and entertainment, with productions as diverse as Ellen Kent’s Aida, Stickman and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Tempest, we hope that everyone will be able to find something that appeals to them in our autumn 2016 programme.”

Call Box Office on 01253 74 33 39 or visit blackpoolgrand.co.uk

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A Grand New Refurbishment for Blackpool Theatre.

Blackpool Grand Theatre has completed its major refurbishment project on time and on budget.

Grand Conference Room

The £1m backstage project saw new rehearsal and dressing rooms created along with a new multi-use space and an open plan office suite. The project has delivered modern facilities that sit comfortably in the Grade II* listed theatre.

Blackpool Grand Theatre refurbishment

Blackpool Grand Theatre Trust chair, Roger Lloyd Jones, commented, “I am extremely proud of what has been delivered on a tight budget while keeping the theatre open throughout the work programme.

Meeting room at Blackpool Grand Theatre

“Our architect, Lawrence Mcburney from Cassidy + Ashton; project manager, Shaun Ward from Blackpool Council; and contractors, Parkinsons, worked in close partnership with us to sensitively upgrade and extend our facilities.

"None of this would have been possible without the financial support of Arts Council England, Friends of The Grand, Garfield Weston Trust, and Blackpool Council.

"My thanks to our CEO, Ruth Eastwood, and her team for completing the project on time and on budget.

"We are now able to offer a variety of additional facilities to local arts organisations for meetings, functions, rehearsals and small-scale performances.”

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Ambition for Excellence

Two New Projects Delivered By The Grand Theatre In Partnership With LeftCoast

Ruth Eastwood, Grand Theatre Blackpool

Blackpool Grand Theatre is pleased to announce that its application to Arts Council England’s ‘Ambition for Excellence’ Fund has been successful.  The fund has been created to stimulate and support ambition, talent and excellence in the arts, particularly outside London. 

The award totals £680,000 and will be used to commission two pieces of work for the town, both of which will involve artists of international standing as well as local talent to create exciting new events in 2016 and 2017.  The two new projects will be delivered by the Grand Theatre in partnership with LeftCoast.

Michael Trainor, Artistic Director of LeftCoast, said: “Winning this major national award from Arts Council England is a huge vote of confidence in Blackpool’s creative community and will bring the very highest quality creative experiences to the amazing locations and good people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast.”

For the first piece, the partners will work with the renowned company dreamthinkspeak.  dreamthinkspeak hasn’t created a new work in the North West of England since Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.  The company’s highly imaginative ways of working and the amazing artistic experiences that they create will attract both locals and visitors to Blackpool.

Tristan Sharps, Artistic Director of dreamthinkspeak, said: “This is wonderful news! I’m really looking forward to my stay in Blackpool and creating a show for a secret and fantastical site at the heart of the town! As always with a dreamthinkspeak project, I will be living in the town during the creation of the show and working closely with large numbers of local residents. I’m really excited to explore and discover how the project will adapt and develop in response to this remarkable town’s past, present and future. I’ve been dreaming about this project for the last two years. This award makes the dream real and I cannot wait to crack on”.

King Kong Comes Back to Blackpool

Older readers might remember a huge King Kong strapped to the front of Blackpool Tower, and the second piece, planned for 2017, will be a re-imagining of the King Kong story, utilising multiple art forms in a variety of locations.  Again working with large numbers of local artists, crafts people and residents, this project will have huge community involvement as well as great spectacle.

Alison Clark, Director Combined Arts & North, and Programme lead for Ambition for Excellence said, “This award represents a very significant moment for arts in Blackpool. This exciting internationally important programme illustrates the impact of the innovative cultural leaders in the town, and we look forward to seeing its powerful long term effects on artists and the arts infrastructure in Blackpool and beyond.”

Ruth Eastwood, CEO of the Grand Theatre (pictured) said: “We don’t want to give too much away just now.  These are big and important projects that will help consolidate Blackpool’s growing reputation as a place with culture at its heart; celebrating the uniqueness of this amazing town and offering new and different artistic experiences to people, young and old.  Now the hard work starts to create something really special.”

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Reader Review: The History Boys

Regular Visit Fylde Coast reader Peter and his wife went on Tuesday evening to see The History Boys at the Grand Theatre. 

Reader review of The History Boys at The Grand Theatre Blackpool

It’s a well known play by the acclaimed playwright Alan Bennett. Set in Yorkshire in the 1980’s with a background of 80’s music and revolving around a group of male students and their teachers and Head,  and a good sized cast which adds interest.   

With humour and intelligence  the students joust for mastery of their teachers while the teachers challenge for mastery of method. All the while sexual tensions rise between students, school staff and teachers led by the school Lothario and tester of all boundaries. 

The headmaster is driven by results the teachers by their teaching styles. It certainly stretched my grey matter, debating the merit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake and knowledge for exam success. Are they bound for Oxford or Nottingham. Will their interview rehearsals help?

In the end one teacher is in a wheelchair and another perhaps died for his belief and the students declare their life paths. It’s a lot to take in and the brain needs to be working well to get the most out of it. Although maybe you just take in the characters, jokes and student humour.

It was another good night out and well attended at the lovely Grand Theatre.

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Reader Review: Pat Barker’s 'Regeneration'

Regeneration at The Grand Theatre Blackpool

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool marked the centenary of the First World War by hosting the final dates of the world premiere tour of Pat Barker’s Booker-nominated novel Regeneration from Tuesday 25 to Saturday 29 November 2014

Regular Visit Fylde Coast reader Peter and his wife visited the matinee of ‘Regeneration’.

"The play is highly rated and quite a coup for the Grand. There was a good sized audience topped up by a lot of teenagers from local schools. The play has a serious theme in a war hospital based on some truth but it also has humour. Especially from the northern lad who isn’t normal officer class and has always defied his asthma. In the background is the contrast between the relatively pleasant life in the hospital and the harsh life at the front line. Whether it encourages malingering and the complex feeling of guilt for being a survivor.

The story is well written and presented keeping the attention through a lot of clever scene and costume changes as well as convincing acting.

The two officer poets, Sigmund Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, are well known and offer insight to war poetry.  As a bit of local interest Wilfred Owen in real life spent some time at Fleetwood Rifle Range.

The story hinges around Sigmund Sassoon, who has written an anti-war paper and because of friends has been declared mentally unfit rather than shot, and the doctor in charge whose job is to get the men fit to return to the front line. Also Wilfred Owen who adulates Sigmund and his poetry although it’s not fully reciprocated. The patients are a mixed selection of officers with early 20th century attitudes which are genuine belief but often appear slightly humorous now. There is emotional turmoil, men suffering from shell shock.

This play is a lot more gripping than expected and it seemed like we had travelled on a journey that kept the interest high right through.

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Reader Review: A Jolly, Confused Caper!

Regular Visit Fylde Coast reader Peter and his wife review Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool presented by the English Touring Theatre, 23rd October 2014  

Twelfth Night at the Grand theatre

This is the first of Shakespeare’s comedies I’ve seen and a jolly, confused, caper it is with excellent acting and imaginative use of stage props.   Matinee shows usually have an older audience but plays like this often have schools in the audience. Today youngish 10/11 year olds filled a large section.   They really enjoyed the comic scenes and were well behaved, a credit to the schools.

This production has a 19th Century feel for the set and costume.  Like many Shakespeare plays it takes a while to get your ear tuned to the 16th century dialogue.   The opening scenes make good use of effects as the twins are washed ashore in a storm.  The parts are introduced and for a while it seems a bit slow going. The show has a lot of lows and highs.  When Mr Belch really has had too much to drink the show lifts off.  The children loved these scenes of drunkenness and Mr Belch is brilliantly played.  

The trick played on Malvolio that makes him appear a madman is pure mischief and we love his socks even if the lady doesn’t.   The show becomes a frenzy of activity with women pretending to be men in love with men and women in love with women believing them to be men and a servant  tricked into appearing mad locked in a cell.  Meanwhile the Fool plays on.  It was a sign of a play well done that the end scenes of the twines re-united were quite touching - something in my eye again.

Some famous lines are in this play:  ‘Some are born into greatness, some achieve greatness and some have it thrust upon them’.  The wonderful line ‘none can be called deformed but the unkind’  brought some giggles from the younger section of the audience and I wondered why, it is a great thought and from the year 1600.   ‘If music be the food of love, play on’. All that and more in one play.

The acting by everyone is excellent, this is a top class production with a good sized cast using an interesting interpretation and props. Well worth seeing.

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Reader Review: Simon & Garfunkel - Keeping the Customer Satisfied

The Simon & Garfunkel Story was on for one night at the Grand in September and Visit Fylde Coast reader Peter and his wife went along to the show. 

The Simon & Garfunkel Story at the Grand Theatre

Not being a massive S&G fan I was wondering how they’d fill the time but thought the story could be interesting.  Many stars begin their careers at a very early age, they were singing together in the early 50’s and keen on harmony. 

The two actors told us the story with photos projected behind them and then burst into song. They seemed to be chosen for their look and that their voices were so like the real thing, especially ‘Garfunkel’.  The Voice of an Angel said ‘Paul’ at the end, and it was true.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story at the Grand Theatre

The show had a very decent sized audience and many who knew all the songs. Starting with their pop Everly Brothers style which the Story says they carried on by always playing an Everly Brothers song in their shows.  Moving to folk in the early 60’s it was a bit of a mixed start.  By Homeward Bound we were moving into friendly ground. It was written when Paul was sitting on Widnes railway station and pining for his English girlfriend and New York we were told.  

‘I am a rock’ was another great song, ‘I have my books and my poetry to protect me’. The vocals and instruments were better than the records, certainly better than some of the re-mastered ultra-clean things you can buy. The show was getting into its stride and at the interval we were trying to recall what was left to play.

Actually the show hadn’t begun. ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’ what a track with that guitar riff and words of passage of time ‘look around the leaves are brown’.  Mrs Robinson, we all know about that, with clips of Dustin Hoffman in the film behind.

Bridge Over Troubled Water was such a mega-album and built up in the Story, full of great tracks. Cecilia, The Boxer and one I’d forgotten that has haunted me since ‘Keep the Customer Satisfied’, an ear-worm it’s said. We were told they were tiring of each other and split a few times.    

‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ seemed ambitious but ‘the voice of an angel’ delivered it without a flutter. Listening to those tracks afterwards it seems the show versions are often better, more presence in the voice and more beat. This show was one without regrets.

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Blackpool is the home of entertainment and presiding over it is the ‘Grand’ Old Lady.

From opera, ballet and Shakespeare to variety, musicals and comedy giants, The Grand Theatre caters for every age, pocket and personality.

When you enter the Victorian auditorium of the Blackpool Grand Theatre you will understand what people mean by ‘the glorious Grand’.

This Frank Matcham designed masterpiece offers ornate, gilded plasterwork, baroque ceiling, cavorting cherubs and cantilevered balconies allowing every seat a clear view of the stage.

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120 Glorious Years!

The Grade II* listed Grand Theatre celebrated its 120th Birthday on Wednesday 23 July 2014.

The Grand Theatre celebrates 120 years

It first opened its doors on 23 July 1894, and still remains as one of the few surviving examples of the work of Frank Matcham.

The Grand Theatre has hosted a multitude of stars since its opening, from Lily Langtree to Michael Macintyre, Gracie Fields to Ken Dodd, Arthur Askey to Lee Evans...and the list goes on!

The Grand Theatre celebrates 120 years
Photo: Sean Conboy

Over the 120 years, it's attracted the very best in award-winning touring companies, including The National Theatre, English Touring Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Opera and Ballet International and the Russian State Ballet.

As well as presenting a programme of quality drama, comedy, dance and children’s theatre, The Grand plays host to the outstanding talents of local performers from groups across Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde.

Ruth Eastwood, Chief Executive said,

“120 years on from first opening its doors, The Grand still remains at the heart of the community, offering people of Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde and the Region the very best in touring productions, as well as opportunities to participate, experience and learn through theatre.”

By the early 1960s theatres across Britain were closing due to loss of audience to television and in July 1972 the then owners, the Tower Company, applied for permission to demolish it. In its place they proposed to build a department store. However, by then, following an application to the Department of the Environment, the theatre had been listed as a Grade II* building and there had to be a full public enquiry.

Early in 1973 the Friends of the Grand was formed and after legal and financial wrangling, they, together with EMI and the local council, put together a deal involving leasing the theatre for £10,000 per annum and final purchase for £250,000.

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The Grand Today

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool is one of Britain’s premier heritage theatres. Listed Grade II*, this Matcham theatre is in the top 8 per cent of all listed buildings in England, and one of only thirty listed buildings in Blackpool. It is one of only nine large theatres listed Grade II* or above, north of London.

The Grand Theatre
Photo: Sean Conboy

The Grand is owned by the Blackpool Grand Theatre Trust Limited. This organisation reopened the theatre in 1981 following the efforts of a number of committed volunteers who saved the theatre from demolition. Restoration work has continued without ever closing the theatre.

This amazing space is a wonder of restoration and revival, presenting a full range of every performing artform, as Blackpool's community theatre, Lancashire's preferred opera house and Britain's National Theatre of Variety.

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The History of The Grand

The Grand Theatre was opened on July 23, 1894, by Thomas Sergenson, Blackpool's first successful theatrical manager.

Sergenson immediately dubbed the theatre 'Matcham's Masterpiece', a title that is even more merited now that there are few surviving examples of the work of Frank Matcham, the leading Victorian theatre architect who designed it.

The Grand Theatre
Photo: Sean Conboy

The theatre took just nine months to build and cost Sergenson £20,000, part of which he had earned by operating two small rented theatres and from a circus that he staged for five summer seasons on the site of The Grand.

During his fifteen years at The Grand, Sergenson presented great stars like Ellen Terry, Madge Kendal, Sarah Bernhardt, Lily Langtry, F R Benson and Dan Leno. In 1909 he sold the theatre for a handsome £47,500 to the Blackpool Tower Company, who ran The Grand for the next sixty-two years.

The Grand was the first Blackpool theatre to present the two big musical hits of World War One - The Maid of The Mountains and Chu Chin Chow - and in the 1920s become noted for staging big American musicals like Rose Marie, The Desert Song and No No Nanette.

The theatre began to be used by top West End producers for British premieres and for forty years many plays and musicals were seen at The Grand 'prior to London'.

After the success of talking pictures, The Grand in the 1930s was a cinema in the winter and staged 'live' shows during the holiday season. Most famous of the 1930s' attractions was Gracie Fields, who made all her Blackpool Variety appearances from 1932 to 1938 at The Grand Theatre.

The Grand Theatre
Photo: Sean Conboy

When the Tower Company began to build the new Blackpool Opera House in 1938, The Grand was returned to its role as an all-year playhouse. The first summer season show was held in 1940. It was a variety revue starring local comedian Harry Korris, who returned the following summer with a stage version of his famous Happidrome radio show.

During World War Two, Blackpool was a safe haven from German bombing and many great stars and shows came to The Grand. There were visits by Gielgud, Evans, Ashcroft, Harrison, Vivien Leigh, Flora Robson, Robert Donat, John Mills and Emlyn Williams.

In October, 1942, Noel Coward premiered and appeared in two of his plays and the prestige of The Grand continued through the 1950s, which was a glittering decade in spite of the growing impact of television. Holiday-makers of the 1950s and 1960s best remember The Grand for the highly successful summer season forces, starring comedy favourites like Arthur Askey, Thora Hird, Glenn Melvyn, Danny Ross, Hylda Baker, Freddie Frinton, Sid James and Jack Douglas.

By the early 1960s theatres across Britain were closing due to loss of audience to television. The Grand survived longer than most, thanks to the backing of the Tower Company. But the shortage of good shows, coupled with declining ticket sales, forced a policy of winter closure from 1963. Fewer big names came to the theatre, although the summer season forces continued to make money.

In the mid 1960s, the theatre was included in a town centre redevelopment plan. The result of this was that in July 1972 the Tower Company applied for permission to demolish it. In its place they proposed a department store.

By then, however, following an application to the Deparment of the Environment, the theatre had been listed as a Grade II building. Because of that, there had to be a full public enquiry.

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The Saving of the Grand

Early in 1973 there was a meeting at a local hotel where the Friends of The Grand was formed specifically to resist the application, which by then was supported by the Local Authority.

In 1975, after years of disuse, it became obvious that the Tower Company were planning to turn The Grand into a bingo hall. After another round of legal and financial wrangling, the Friends of the Grand, together with EMI and the local council put together a deal involving leasing the theatre for £10,000 per annum and final purchase for £250,000.

The Grand Theatre
Photo: Sean Conboy

After the eventual purchase of the theatre by The Grand Theatre Trust, in September, 1980, dozens of 'Friends' helped to refurbish the dressing rooms and backstage areas in readiness for The Grand's reopening in the week of Monday March 23, 1981, by Timothy West and Prunella Scales in the Old Vic production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

In May 1981, the theatre had a prestigious two-week visit by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company with their Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire, and on May 29 the ultimate theatrical honour of a Royal Variety Performance in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.

The audience for weekly theatre, which had dissolved during the nine-year closure of The Grand, was slowly won back and developed during the 1980s. The Grand brought Northern Ballet Theatre and London City Ballet to Blackpool on regular visits. Annual concerts by The Halle and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras became a feature Opera appeared on the theatre's calendar of events, first by Opera 80 and now from international travelling Opera companies.

The theatre proves that, when scheduled within a varied programme of plays, dance, musicals and concerts, there is a healthy demand for the arts in Blackpool and the surrounding areas.

Adapted from "A Short History of the Grand Theatre" by Barry Band, Grand Theatre historian and Director of the Grand Theatre Trust Ltd, and "How the Grand was Saved" by A Burt Briggs (TD), Vice-President of the Grand Theatre Trust and Founder of the Friends of the Grand, published in the pamphlet "Centenary Appeal: Blackpool Grand Theatre 1894-1994".



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The Grand Theatre Blackpool

33 Church Street
Blackpool
Lancashire
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Special Offers, Promotions & News              

Thriller LIVE is back! Tickets on Sale Friday 24 March at 10am.

LIVE at BLACKPOOL GRAND THEATRE - Monday 13 to Saturday 18 November 2017

Thriller Live Blackpool Grand Theatre

Direct from London’s West End where it is now in its record breaking 9th year, THRILLER LIVE returns to Blackpool following huge popular demand.

The spectacular concert created to celebrate the career of the world’s greatest entertainer goes on sale at 10am on Friday 24 March on Blackpool Grand Theatre’s website www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk 

Seen by over 4 million people in over 30 countries, THRILLER LIVE continues to moonwalk around the world, taking you on a visual, audio and electrifying journey through the magic of Michael’s 45 year musical history.

Experience over two hours of non-stop hits from pop to rock, soul to disco as the cast pay homage to Jackson’s legendary live performances and innovative dance moves executed with flair, precision and passion,  this is a show that you will never forget.

Expect your favourite songs delivered by an exceptionally talented cast and band, including: I Want You Back, ABC, Can You Feel It, Off The Wall, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, Bad, Rock With You, They Don’t Care About Us, Dangerous and Thriller plus many more!

Thriller LIVE Grand Theatre Blackpool

Monday 13 to Saturday 18 November
Monday to Thursday Evenings 7:30pm, Friday 5pm and 8:30pm, Saturday 4pm and 8pm

Tickets

Call Box Office on 01253 290 190 (please mention you saw it here) or visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk  

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GRAND THEATRE PLAY READING GROUP

Following continued success of The Grand Theatre, Blackpool’s Play Reading Group, (which takes place on the second Saturday of every month) we are delighted to announce our 2017 dates.

On the Second Saturday of Every Month 1.30pm – 3.30pm.
Saturday’s - 8 April, 13 May, 10 June, 8 July, 12 August, 9 September, 14 October, 11 November

Playreading at Blackpool Grand Theatre

Perfect for anyone who relishes reading and engaging in discussion about great titles from some of the world’s leading play writes.

This friendly group enjoy getting together and revel in discussion on the aspects of the title. They welcome new members on any date, so feel free to join at any time over the next year, you don’t have to attend them all.

Be assured of a warm welcome and a lively discussion, with no acting experience or speaking ability required!

Tickets are £3 which includes tea and biscuits. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event or on the day at the Box Office. 

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Friends of The Grand Coffee Morning

20 April and 18 May at 10.30am

Friends of The Grand Coffee Morning

At each Friends Coffee Morning there will be a different guest speaker from either the Theatre or the world of show business.

Due to popularity please book your ticket in advance online, at the Box Office or by calling 01253 290190.

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Insights: Theatre Heritage Tour

7 April and 2 May at 11am

Insights Heritage Tours Grand Theatre Blackpool

There is no theatre quite like The Grand. The published descriptions in 1894 said so, and contemporary theatregoers agree. Renowned as architect Frank Matcham’s masterpiece it has a long and lively history.

Join us for one of our Heritage Theatre Tours on Tuesday 26th January led by theatre archivists Geoff and Linda Tolson MBE. Stand on the raked stage and observe the cantilevered tiers of circles, boxes and pit - and the complete visibility of every seat in this atmospheric house.

- See the secrets of the great stage
- Take in Blackpool’s hidden gem
- Learn about flamboyant architect Frank Matcham
- Explore the warren of staircases that lead to the stars dressing rooms and beyond

The Grand Theatre was opened on July 23, 1894, by Thomas Sergenson, Blackpool’s first successful theatrical manager.

Prices and book tickets here

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Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

8pm - Friday 7 April and 5 May

Comedy Club at Grand Theatre Blackpool

Welcome to the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club at The Grand Studio - bringing the best live stand-up to Blackpool!

Each show will have 4 comics including MC Damion Larkin 'One of the country's top new comedians' BBC.

Wherever possible we'll be bringing you comedians off the telly from such shows as BBC2's Mock The Week, Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats, BBC1's Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, Have I Got News For You, and Paramount's Live at The Comedy Store.

Previously acts have included Jason Manford, John Bishop and Sarah Millican before they hit the big time. So come and see more brilliant comedians!

Prices and book tickets here

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APRIL 2017 AT BLACKPOOL GRAND

4-8 April - Running Wild

Running Wild at Blackpool Grand Theatre

4-8 April, various times, 10.30am, 1.30, 2.30 and 7pm

The Children’s Touring Partnership presents RUNNING WILD

By Michael Morpurgo. In an adaptation by Samuel Adamson. Originally produced by Chichester Festival Theatre and Regent’s Park Theatre

For Lilly, going to Indonesia isn’t just another holiday with mum. It’s a new start, and the chance to ride an elephant called Oona. But then the tsunami hit.

Charging deep into the jungle, Oona escapes the danger of the beach with her young rider desperately clinging on. Miles from civilisation, at first there’s wonder, discovery and tree-top adventures amongst the orang-utans. But, as thoughts turn to mum left behind on the beach, wild tigers prowl, hunger hits, and Lilly must now learn to survive the rainforest. Then come the hunters.

Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to lush life with extraordinary heart, vibrant colour and exceptional creativity, wowing audiences of all ages and critics alike.

Directed by Timothy Sheader and Dale Rooks and with puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié, both previous Associate Puppetry Directors on War Horse, this epic and spectacular production tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss, loyalty and of living for the moment.

Please note, performances on Wednesday 5 (1:30pm) and Thursday 6 (10:30am) are specifically offered to schools but all are welcome.
Running time: Act 1: 50 mins – Interval: 20 mins – Act 2: 40 mins
Age guidance: 6+

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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7 April - Theatre Heritage Tour

See above for details

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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7 April - Laugh out Loud Comedy Club

See above for details

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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8 April - Playreading

See above for details

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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9 April - Music Hall Tavern

Music Hall Tavern at Blackpool Grand Theatre

9 April at 7.30pm

The UK’s premier comedy family drag variety show is back with A Brand New Fabulous Show for 2017!

Whatever your age, come along and join Mrs T and the “girls” from MHT this Spring for a truly magnificent night of dazzling costumes, side splitting laughter and a cast of unique characters singing and dancing all night long.

A feel-good night that will not only entertain and amuse you, but will leave you with unforgettable memories of the funniest night out of the year!

Starring the sensational Paul Carroll as Mrs T the “Girls ” from MHT and featuring the Showcase International Dancers.

The show also tours the Canary Islands all year!!

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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11-15 April - Nell Gwynn

Nell Gwynn at Blackpool Grand Theatre

11-15 April at 7.30pm, 2pm matinee on 13 and 15

Winner of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, Jessica Swale’s blissfully funny Nell Gwynn embarks on its first ever UK tour, direct from critically acclaimed, sell out runs in the West End and at the Globe Theatre.

1660 Drury Lane. Charles II has cast off London’s drab, puritanical past with a love of all things loud, French and sexy. A young Nell Gwynn is selling oranges for sixpence in London’s burgeoning West End theatre scene. Little does she know who is in the audience one fateful night.

Jessica Swale’s warm hearted, bawdy comedy tells the story of an unlikely heroine, who went from lowly orange seller to win the adoration of the public and the heart of the King. Starring Olivier Award nominated actress Laura Pitt Pulford, Nell Gwynn is brought to the stage by English Touring Theatre.

Age guidance 12yrs +. References of a sexual nature

Pre Show Talk before the show Tues 11 Apr (6:30pm)
Captioned Performance Wed 12 Apr (7:30pm)
Post Show Talk following the show Thurs 13 Apr
Audio Described Performance Friday 14 April (7:30pm)

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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16 April - The Solid Silver 60s Show

The Solid Silver 60s Show at Blackpool Grand Theatre

16 April at 7.30pm

Over 30 years, the Solid Silver 60s Show has entertained the nation and celebrated history’s most successful decade of music.

Commonly referred to as an institution on the 60s circuit, SS60s is the UK’s original and premier sixties show, bringing you classic hits performed by the original hit makers.

In 2017 we are delighted to welcome back Solid Silver 60s favourites The Merseybeats. Performing alongside them after his successful appearance on last year’s tour, we are delighted to welcome back Dave Berry. Completing this stellar line up, we also are thrilled to see the return of Wayne Fontana and Vanity Fare to the bill and are delighted to welcome back our very special guest Chris Montez from the USA.

Come on down to the Solid Silver 60s Show, see the original artists singing their greatest hits and relive some of your fondest memories of an era that will last forever.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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19-22 April - Made in Dagenham

Made in Dagenham Blackpool Grand Theatre

19-22 April at 7.30pm, 2pm matinee on 20 and 22

BLACKPOOL OPERATIC PLAYERS PROUDLY PRESENT MADE IN DAGENHAM

Made in Dagenham is set in 1968 in Essex, highlighting a community of loyal working class solidarity. The women of Ford Dagenham go on strike following a proposal to downgrade their skill set and, subsequently, their pay. This then highlights the massive inequality between men and women in the workplace when doing the same job. Rita, an ordinary working class mum of two, and machinist for the plant, almost by accident finds herself leading the fight for justice. The girls go on strike and, in a stand of unity, the Ford machinists from the Liverpool plant also join the cause. Despite the U.S. executives of Ford trying to fight the girls by ‘laying off’ the men and causing hardship for many families, the girls win out and Harold Wilson’s administration (led by Barbara Castle) pass law to promise equal pay.

The musical is based on a true story and is heart-warming, uplifting and inspiring. It includes some classic British banter, plenty of comedy, uplifting musical numbers and some moments of tenderness and sobriety. Made in Dagenham has a bit of everything.

Book by Richard Bean, music by David Arnold, lyrics by Richard Thomas.
Based on the Woolley/Karlsen/Number 9 Motion Picture. Financed by the BBC, BMS Film Finance, BFI and Lip Sync Productions. Directed by Nigel Cole. Screenplay by William Ivory.
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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20 April - Friends Coffee Morning

See above for details.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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25-29 April - Strictly Murder

Strictly Murder Blackpool Grand Theatre

25-29 April at 7.30pm, 2.30pm matinee on 27 and 29

April 1939. An English couple, Peter and Suzy, are living in Provence in idyllic isolation, far, it seems, from the rumblings of the coming war.

Their peace is shattered from within when Suzy discovers she has been betrayed: Peter is not the man he claims to be. Suzy’s life is thrown into turmoil as the possibility arises that Peter may in fact be a ruthless killer on the run. Then a Scotland Yard detective arrives and events become even more complicated and frightening … Lies, subterfuge and murder make this fast-moving thriller a dark and disturbing roller coaster of bluff and double bluff.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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28 April - Meet Fred

Meet Fred Blackpool Grand Theatre

28 April at 7.15pm

“Prejudice against puppetry is the only acceptable form of prejudice” David Sefton, Artistic Director, Adelaide International Festival

A cloth puppet fights prejudice every day. Fred just wants to be part of the real world, to get a job and meet a girl, but when threatened with losing his PLA (Puppetry Living Allowance), Fred’s life begins to spiral out of his control.

Age guidance 14 years. Contains strong language and puppet nudity.
A smoke machine/hazer will be used for two short burst during the performance. There is no strobe lighting in the performance.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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2 May - Theatre Heritage Tour

See above for details

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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4-6 May - Our Man In Havana

Our Man In Havana Blackpool Grand Theatre

4-6 May at 7.30pm, 2pm matinee on 6 May

From the company who brought us Travels With My Aunt last year, we are excited to again play host to Creative Cow with another Greene classic.

“You should dream more, Mr. Wormold. Reality in our century is not something to be faced.”
Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana

Cuba 1958. Meet Jim Wormwold – a hapless vacuum cleaner salesman who gets sucked in to a dirty world of espionage and double agents when the chance of helping out MI6 with a job or two proves too good an offer to resist. And, quite frankly, he could do with cash to pay for his teenage daughter’s ever increasing lifestyle.

Thrillingly adapted for the stage by Clive Francis, this uproarious farce is filleted to perfection from Graham Greene’s hilarious, subversive and ever popular novel.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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5 May - Laugh out Loud Comedy Club

See above for details

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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7 May - Count Arthur Strong - The Sound Of Mucus

Count Arthur Strong - The Sound Of Mucus Blackpool Grand Theatre

7 May at 7.30pm

Count Arthur Strong brings you… ‘The Sound of Mucus’

Using stories and other things that are secret, Count Arthur Strong, showbiz legend, pays tribute to one of the best musicals he can remember. Uniquely recreating the salient and poignant moments for your enjoyment. Plus something else. Don’t miss this amazing event!

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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9 May - Mark Murphy's Out of this World

Mark Murphy's Out of this World Blackpool Grand Theatre

9 May at 7.30pm

Mark Murphy’s VTOL presents OUT OF THIS WORLD

OUT OF THIS WORLD is genre-defying action packed theatre from acclaimed writer and director Mark Murphy. Set within a world of projected film and animation, it combines his signature mix of ground breaking aerial choreography, original text and explosive special effects in a show that is both intense psychological thriller and heart-rending medical drama.

This is the story of a woman’s woozy descent into the depths of a medically induced coma. Once safely cocooned, her crashed imagination takes over the show – creating a vivid inward cinema in which she reviews her life. But after discovering a shocking truth and with the medical team moving in for the kill, she must escape her subterranean safe house in a very real fight for life.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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11-13 May - Kiss of Death

Kiss of Death Blackpool Grand Theatre

11-13 May at 7.30pm, 2.30pm matinee on 13 May

Hard-hitting, tightly-structured storyline, Kiss of Death is a very modern thriller with plenty of dark, sardonic humour to punctuate its mood of prevailing menace.

Actress Zoe Lang attends a most unusual improvisation workshop and finds herself auditioning to be the bait for a real-life serial killer. Taking on the role of a young runaway, Natasha Campion, Zoe meets the sinister and manipulative John Smith. Layer upon layer of twisted unreality is stripped away as Zoe and the police home in on their target.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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13 May - Playreading

See above for details

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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14 May - Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Blackpool Grand Theatre

14 May at 7.30pm

Come with Alice on a magical adventure as she tumbles into Wonderland!

Guided by the White Rabbit, Alice meets some astonishing characters, including the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, a studious caterpillar and those mischievous twins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Basing his ballet on Lewis Carroll’s much-loved children’s books, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Ballet Theatre UK’s Artistic Director Christopher Moore has created a captivating piece, brimming with wit, humour and charm. With its whimsical flights of the imagination, eclectic music and joyful dance, Alice in Wonderland is delightful entertainment for all ages

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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15-17 May - All Or Nothing - The MOD Musical

All Or Nothing - The MOD Musical Blackpool Grand Theatre

15-17 May at 7.30pm

In 1964, a new phenomenon exploded onto the dingy British streets.It was the essence of all that was cool. It was Mod.

Mods stuck two fingers up at the class-ridden society and its dull redundant culture. They were working-class free spirits who rode sexy streamlined Italian Vespas or Lambrettas.

The sharpest Mod of all was known as a ‘FACE’.

The Small Faces encapsulated all that is Mod, a unique blend of taste and testosterone, neat, clothes obsessed and street-wise. But these cult sophisticates shared another passion, their dedication to Rhythm ‘n’ Blues. This quintessentially British ‘Mod’ Musical celebrates the unique sound of the iconic ‘60s Mod band, The Small Faces.

Featuring the music of the Small Faces, including an arsenal of brilliant hits like Whatcha Gonna Do About It, Lazy Sunday, Tin Soldier, Sha La La La Lee, Itchycoo Park and of course All or Nothing.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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18 May - Friends Coffee Morning

See above for details

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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27 May - Breakin' Convention 2017

Breakin' Convention 2017 Blackpool Grand Theatre

27 May at 7.30pm

Breakin’ Convention, world’s biggest festival of hip hop dance theatre showcasing the very best from around the world and around the corner is coming back to Blackpool!

Curated and hosted by UK hip hop pioneer Jonzi D, this is an awe inspiring weekend of exceptional performances from world champion b-boy crews to cutting edge street dance companies – live on stage.

This year’s line-up includes South Korean super crew of poppers and b-boys Just Dance whose performance includes live Korean drumming; Canadian urban contemporary duo Tentacle Tribe; and Soweto Skeleton Movers who perform comedic contortionism fused with Pantsula, a style from their native South Africa.

Local crews include; FY Wingz- Wingz Theatre Works, Freefly Crew, Generation Movement, Urban Dance Project.

Spilling off stage and taking over the whole building, dance workshops, graffiti, DJs, and freestyle sessions make Breakin’ Convention an unforgettable experience for all the family.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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2017 Panto Announced - Tickets on Sale for Cinderella!

We can exclusively announce that The Grand’s Panto for 2017/18 is CINDERELLA and will run from 5 December 2017 to 7 January 2018!

Tickets are on sale NOW!

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

Cinderella panto, 2017 Blackpool Grand Theatre

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See the Grand Theatre website here for everything else that's coming up in coming months

 

Customer Opinion


These are comments from visitors to this site about this listing. We do not necessarily agree with these comments

open quote Just a few words to say what a fantastic experience going to the ballet on Saturday (Swan Lake) was for my wife and I as first timers.

The production was 5 stars as was the venue and the staff who looked after us all though the event.

One thing is for sure it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and new experience, one which we will repeat.

We are so lucky to have such a jewel in the crown as The Grand Theatre in Blackpool.

Email received at 'Visit' from a first time ballet-goer
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#GrandAnnouncement: Private Lives on sale Now! Noël Coward’s most popular and enduring stage comedy, strong passions and stronger personalities set the stage for a classic battle of the sexes. Private Lives | Blackpool Grand Theatre TUES 7 - SAT 11 NOV Book here: https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/private-lives/

 

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#GrandAnnouncement: 2 DATES! Jason Manford: Muddle Class on sale NOW! Call 01253 290190 or visit https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/jason-manford/ to avoid busy lines. Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 January 2018 Jason Manford: Muddle Class | Blackpool Grand Theatre

 

It’s been a busy few years for Jason Manford since his last smash-hit stand up show but his fans will know this acclaimed comedian hasn’t changed a bit.

 

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#GRANDAnnouncement: Jason Manford: Muddle Class on sale TOMORROW at 10am! To book call 01253 290190 or visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk to avoid busy lines

 

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GRANDAnnouncement: 🎤🎤🎤🎤🎤 Everyone’s asking What’s On In Blackpool? Music and Lots of it! NINE new shows now on sale including... The Chicago Blues Brother | Blackpool Grand Theatre T-Rextasy | Blackpool Grand Theatre The Simon and Garfunkel Story | Balckpool Grand Theatre Solid Gold Rock 'n' Roll Show | Blackpool Grand Theatre 80s Triple Header | Blackpool Grand Theatre Someone Like You - the Adele Songbook | Blackpool Grand Theatre A Country Night in Nashville | Blackpool Grand Theatre Stevie: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder | Blackpool Grand Theatre Islands in the Stream | Blackpool Grand Theatre In case you missed them - take a look at the music shows already on sale... The Solid Silver 60s Show | The Blackpool Grand Theatre Walk Like a Man | Blackpool Grand Theatre Purple Rain - A Celebration of Prince | The Blackpool Grand Thea Piano Men: Generations | The Blackpool Grand Theatre 9 to 5 The Musical | The Blackpool Grand Theatre Message In A Bottle: A Tribute to The Police | Grand Theatre Thriller LIVE | Blackpool Grand Theatre FastLove: A Tribute to George Michael | Blackpool Grand Theatre Lipstick on Your Collar | Blackpool Grand Theatre Magic of Motown | The Blackpool Grand Theatre John Mayall in Concert | Blackpool Grand Theatre Some Guys Have All The Luck | Blackpool Grand Theatre Vampires Rock: Ghost Train 2018 | Blackpool Grand Theatre ELO AGAIN 2018 - Return to the Blue | Blackpool Grand Theatre Legally Blonde The Musical | Blackpool Grand Theatre

 

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***COMPETITION CLOSED*** 24 HOUR EASTER BUNDLE COMPETITION Just SHARE this post and tell us which show you'd like to take the children to see and you could WIN a family ticket AND these luxury treats #HelloSpring Upcoming family friendly shows: Alice In Wonderland Ballet: https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/alice-in-wonderland/ The Sooty Show https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/the-sooty-show/ Railway Children https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/the-railway-children/ Babe The Sheep Pig https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/babe-sheep-pig/ Breakin' Convention 2017 https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/breakin-convention-2017/ Cinderella Pantomime https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/cinderella/ Winner picked TOMORROW @ 1pm (13.04.17) Collection available from Box Office

 

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LIVE opening night pre-show talk with English Touring Theatre, Nell Gwynn producer, Jeremy Woodhouse and Assistant Director, Matthew Dann. Book tickets here: https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/nell-gwynn/

 

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The year's 1660. Meet the iconic actress who sold her body, then oranges, before winning the heart of King Charles II… Nell Gwynn | The Blackpool Grand Theatre Tues 11 - Sat 15 April Book here: https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/nell-gwynn/

 

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In 1964, a new phenomenon exploded onto the dingy British streets. It was the essence of all that was cool. It was Mod... All Or Nothing - The MOD Musical | The Blackpool Grand Theatre Mon 15 May - Wed 17 May Book here: https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/nothing-mod-musical/

 

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#GrandAnnouncement: Noël Coward’s most popular and enduring stage comedy, #PrivateLives is on sale Now!… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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A new production of #BrianClemens play #StrictlyMurder arrives at #Blackpool's @Grand_Theatre this week. UK Tour co… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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Reviews for #StrictlyMurder couldn’t get any better. If you like murder mysteries you CAN'T miss this #blackpool pic.twitter.com/7tzJ6Aq5Ev

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Mark Murphy's Out Of This World is what the title suggests... We have never come across a show like it. See it 9/Ma… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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Samuel Clemens, son of the legendary Brian Clemens, revives murder classic #StrictlyMurder in a phenomenal new show… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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The winner of BBC Young Dancer 2017 Nafisah Baba #bbcyoungdancer pic.twitter.com/hshQRUUvlN

 
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