Royle occasion for Lytham Hall’s plays season

Steve Royle as Dan Leno
Steve Royle as Dan Leno

There’s a northern twist to the five productions planned for next summer as Lytham Hall celebrates a decade of successful open air theatre.

The programme for the plays’ 10th season includes Lancashire comedian Steve Royle starring in the first open air performance of Dan Leno, A Royal Jester, the poignant story of the Victorian music hall legend, written by Blackpool playwright David Slattery-Christy.

Steve Royle has appeared in the panto at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre for the past 16 years and has his own Saturday show on BBC Radio Lancashire.

He first took on the role of Dan Leno for the play’s premiere at last summer’s Lytham Festival and will bring it to the Hall’s grounds on Saturday, August 24 as part of a nationwide tour which includes dates in Eastbourne and Stratford.

The performance will be the first half of a weekend double bill, with the Illyria company staging their version of the classic Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves – described as a high-octane show for all the family – the following day at 4pm to round off the season.

A production of Cranford by the Chapterhouse company will launch the season on Sunday, June 16, while Illyria will also present Shakespeare’s The Tempest on Sunday, July 7 at 6pm and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein on Saturday, August 17.

Hall plays organiser Julian Wilde said: “I am expecting to improve on last summer’s attendance total of 2,100, particularly as there is no increase in ticket prices.”

Ticket details will follow later this month.