Absent makes heart fonder for golden age

The Grands production of Absent
The Grands production of Absent

The Winter Gardens takes centre stage in a play exploring the behind the scenes world of Blackpool’s hotels.

Absent takes a look at the changing world of the resort from the perspective of one of its most famous buildings.

The production, commissioned by The Grand is described as a “theatrical journey,” mixing film, architecture and a “haunting soundtrack” to create a unique and immersive experience for the audience.

The story is based around Maggie Morgan who celebrates a big Premium Bonds win by moving into the Pavilion suite at the Winter Gardens Hotel.

Half a century later, she is still there, whileall around her this world-renowned hotel has been falling into financial and physical collapse.

Now, it’s been taken over by Northern Leisure Holdings, a global property giant and a key player in driving Blackpool’s regeneration scheme.

They are redeveloping the hotel and its surroundings, making it more affordable for working people, whilst creating jobs and prosperity.

But what are they really up to? What’s really going on inside the once darkened corridors and faded interiors of this mysterious hotel?

Above all, who is this enigmatic woman and why has she been there for so long?

In small groups at a time, the audience will travel through a warren of rooms and corridors.

Mixing film, architecture and vast model-making installations with a haunting soundtrack, the production aims to create an unforgettable experience.

Tours will take place on August 20-25, September 12-16 and 25-29.

UNIQUE

Ruth Eastwood, Chief Executive of The Grand Theatre said: “Absent uses unique and and beautiful elements of the building, not normally accessible to the general public, to create a whole new world, where ticket-holders step into and are, literally, surrounded by their fantasy.

“It takes about an hour to experience Absent but, believe me, its haunting beauty will live with you forever.”

Tickets are £17.50 per person or £12.50 (when available) for under 26s and are available from the box office on 01253 290190.