As we waited in Matcham Court to enter The Grand’s season launch event we were entertained by a fire thrower and some footballers. And it’s fair to say that the theatre has scored with a red hot programme in the coming months.

In terms of the event itself guests were treated to three a cappella songs from the cast of Walk Like A Man, currently enjoying an extended summer run at The Grand.  Chair of one of The Grand’s management charities Tony Stone set the scene and explained the ongoing challenges operating a smaller theatre in an austere environment.

Ruth Eastwood the Chief Exec of the theatre interchanged with Tony.  She majored on the new season (of which more below) whilst Tony highlighted some of the many community achievements of The Grand.  The theatre has been recognised by the Arts Council as outstanding in its Community Work, the highest level possible.  Links with 52 local schools have led to over 10,000 pupils enjoying education opportunities at the venue.

In terms of the program next month sees Shirley Valentine run from the 11th to 16th, featuring Jodie Prenger.  Other upcoming drama includes Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement In Stone in October, and Noel Coward’s Private Lives in November.  Looking further ahead the team behind last year’s Running Wilde will be presenting The Jungle Book from 8th to 12th May 2018.

Dance highlights include The National Dance Company of Wales presenting Folk on 19-20 September.  More rumbustious perhaps will be Stomp with a week long run in October, followed later the same month by Tango Moderno featuring Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace. In January 2018 The Russian National Ballet of Siberia will present the seasonally apt Snow Maiden, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

Opera highlights include La Traviata and Madam Butterfly in February.  A trio of musicals feature the work of Marc Bolan and T-Rex and Dusty Springfield and an adaptation of Legally Blonde.  Other music includes tributes to Michael Jackson, Prince, Simon and Garfunkel and Meat Loaf.

The Grand’s relatively intimate setting for a theatre is particularly well suited to comedy.  The new programme includes some real humour heavyweights.  Jason Manford will reprise his Muddle Class show in February, Milton Jones returns in March whilst on Sundays throughout October the one and only Ken Dodd stages his Happiness Show.

This is only a taste of the programme through to May.  Check out the whole range online at blackpoolgrand.co.uk.

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