Sell-out expected for show

A scene from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, presented by the Illyria company
A scene from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, presented by the Illyria company

Another bumper attendance is expected at Lytham Hall later this month as the outdoor season of plays continues with Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.

Advance interest is pointing towards the attendance on Sunday, August 20 being a sell-out, with anything over 500 setting a record for a musical show in the eight years of outdoor performances being staged in the Hall grounds.

I am confident we are in for a treat and am expecting a sell out

The anticipated new landmark follows hot on the heels of an audience of 350 for the performance of The Lost World last month taking the total attendance for the plays over the years over 15,000.

Illyria’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular operetta heads for the Hall as part of a two-month summer tour by the company which is visiting 32 venues in just 38 days, covering around 5,000 miles across the country.

Julian Wilde, organiser of the open air season which has the Express as one of its patrons, is delighted with the level of advance bookings for The Mikado from theatre goers right across the North West.

He said: “A hundred and thirty years ago, Gilbert and Sullivan were the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice of the day, producing a succession of eagerly anticipated hit shows.

“The Mikado was their most acclaimed comic opera, running non-stop for two years at the Savoy Theatre.

“Within a year 150 theatre companies had put on a production of The Mikado and crowds in New York and in Sydney flocked to enjoy it. I feel that it is the quality of Sullivan’s music which has made The Mikado, so continuously popular for over a century. There’s a superbly rich variety of music throughout the show, as well as some of Gilbert’s most witty and waspish lyrics.

“Illyria’s colourful and inventive way of presenting Gilbert and Sullivan is a real eye-opener for the 21st century and I am delighted to see they have their very best cast coming to Lytham for the show. I am confident that we are in for a treat at Lytham Hall and I am expecting a sellout.”

The Hall plays season will conclude on August 27, when Illyria presents Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Tickets are available on line at www.illyria.uk.com as well as in person and by phone from Lytham Hall (01253) 736652, Lowther Pavilion (01253 794221), Plackitt and Booth, Lytham (01253 796958), Stringers Homelife, Haven Road, Lytham (01253 740700), Storytellers Inc, The Crescent, St Annes (01253 781690) and Bennetts Bakery, Woodlands Road, Ansdell (01253 736318).