Much Ado – and quite rightly

editorial image

THERE’S special praise for Lytham St Annes from the director of one of the country’s leading open air theatre companies.

The first of four outdoor plays at Lytham Hall – with the Express as one of the patrons of the open-air season there – will see James Reynard, artistic director of Gloucester-based Rain or Shine Theatre Company, bring his production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing to the town on Tuesday, June 14.

James said: “This will be the 14th consecutive year we have played in Lytham St Annes”, he said, “and we are looking forward to the usual warm and knowledgeable audience.

“We have very much enjoyed our time at King Edward and Queen Mary School, and are happy now to move to a more spacious and delightfully quiet arena.”

Rehearsals are in full swing as the company prepare for a 101-day tour, with Lytham Hall being their only Lancashire date.

Claire Tucker, who won much praise for her performance in Rain or Shine’s The Importance of being Earnest last summer, believes Much Ado is one of Shakespeare’s very best comedies.

“There’s all the usual Shakespearean love, loathing and mistaken identities and one of his great comic characters in Constable Dogberry,” she said. “I think our style will be go down well with the Lytham audience.”

Following Rain and Shine at Lytham will be Illyria, with Oliver Gray’s production of Twelfth Night on Wednesday July 6, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance on Thursday, July 14, and, on the afternoon of Sunday, August 28, the Roald Dahl favourite Fantastic Mr Fox.

Tickets from the Express office in St Annes (01253) 724236, Lytham Hall 736652, Lowther Pavilion 794221 and Plackitt and Booth 796958.