WINTER is almost upon us but Lytham Hall is already shaping up for another varied season of outdoor performance next summer.
After the overwhelming success of the four plays staged earlier this year, Chapterhouse Theatre will open the 2013 season on Friday, June 14, with the Jane Austen favourite, Pride and Prejudice.
The Illyria company will present the first of three shows on Sunday, July 7 with Shakespeare’s As You Like It and will be back again 10 days later with Gilbert and Sullivan’s most celebrated operetta The Mikado.
Illyria’s artistic director Oliver Gray is currently completing performing rights negotiations for the company’s 2013 Roald Dahl show, at Lytham Hall on Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon August 25, and hopes to reveal the title in the New Year.
Tickets for the 2013 season will go on sale in mid-April.
Julian Wilde, organiser of the Hall’s outdoor season, is looking forward to another bumper year and praised the attendees this year for their loyal support.
The four successful productions by Chapterhouse, whose performance of Emma had to be switched indoors because of poor weather, and Illyria between June and August this year were attended by a record 1,400 people, raising £2,600 for the Lytham Hall’s appeal fund.
“This is really good news in these difficult economic days,”, said Julian.
“The nine patrons from the town’s business community – the Lytham St Annes Express, JGL Estates, Stringers Department Store, Booths Supermarkets, Pembertons Dairies, DMI Imaging, Strong’s Fruit and Vegetables, Roland Robinson and Fentons and Martin Gunson’s Chartered Accountancy – gave the whole venture a firm financial foundation, which I felt was very important when the damp summer forced some late changes and extra expenses.”
Julian believes also the enthusiasm of dozens of businesses and shops, local amateur and dramatic societies, box office points and media outlets helped significantly in selling tickets in advance and, most importantly, encouraging last minute attendance when the sun finally came out.
“Everyone gave me 100 per cent support,” he added.
“I will always look back with affection at our very special open air summer of 2012.”