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Blackpool Grand Theatre

Blackpool Grand Theatre

Blackpool Grand Theatre

The premier theatre venue in Blackpool

2020 has left nothing untouched; pantomimes included. Sadly, most of us can’t take part in our annual, festive tradition of going to a theatre with our loved ones this year. So we’ve decided to get nostalgic instead!

We’ve used Google search data to reveal the UK’s favourite and most popular pantomimes.

 

Top 10 pantomimes in the UK

  1. Snow White
  2. Dick Whittington
  3. Cinderella 
  4. Aladdin
  5. Sleeping Beauty 
  6. Jack and the Beanstalk
  7. Beauty and the Beast 
  8. Peter Pan
  9. Robin Hood 
  10. Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Pantomimes are eponymous with British Theatre and traditionally take place around Christmas time, and typically feature a hero, heroine, a villain, a comic, and plenty of other characters. 

We’ve taken a deep dive into the top three pantos – Dick Whittington, Snow White, and Cinderella – to look at the history and origins of the top three pantomimes to understand what it is that makes them so loved and popular with Brits.

To learn more about the history of pantomimes and the importance of pantomime, you can visit Blackpool Grand Theatre’s blog. Hosting pantomimes yearly, Grand Theatre sheds some light on Cinderella, Snow White and Dick Whittington below. 

 

Popular Pantomimes Cinderella

 

What is Cinderella?

Cinderella is one of the most well-known pantomimes in the world and is based on a traditional fairytale of the ‘rags to riches’ story of an orphaned girl living with her stepmother and evil stepsisters. The story focuses on Cinderella finding true love and happiness with the handsome Prince Charming, after going to a ball with the help of her Fairy Godmother. Although there have been various adaptations over the years, the main storyline has not changed. 

 

Who wrote Cinderella?

There are many origins of the Cinderella story, but the most well known, recognised and accredited origin story for Cinderella is French writer Charles Perrault’s Cendrillon. In fact, it is this version which was credited by Disney in its 1950 classic animated retelling. Another early known variant which is often considered as providing the origins of the story, dates back to around 7 BC / AD 23, with the story of Rhodopis; about a Greek slave girl who marries the king of Egypt.

 

When was Cinderella written?

Charles Perrault’s Cendrillon was written in 1697. However, Cinderella also appears in the Grimm Brothers tales, published in 1812, which is recognised as one of the other earlier editions of the well-known fairy tale.

 

Where is Cinderella set?

Cinderella is traditionally set in France, as are a number of the traditional fairy tales, including Pinnochio and Beauty and the Beast. 

 

What does Cinderella mean?

Meaning ‘girl of little ashes’, originally taken from the story Cendrillon, the name Cinderella comes from early editions, which saw the titular female always working among the cinders of the fire.

 

What is Cinderella about?

The story of Cinderella follows the traditional plotline of a folktale, of unjust oppression being triumphed by remarkable fortune and reward. In simpler terms; a mistreated young girl is freed from her metaphorical chains by meeting a noble prince, whom she marries, leaving her forsaken situation and mistreated livelihood behind.

 

Characters in Cinderella

Cinderella

Ugly Stepsisters

Evil Stepmother

Fairy Godmother

Cinderella’s Mice

Prince Charming

Buttons

 

Popular Pantomimes Snow White

Snow White 

Who wrote Snow White?

The original story of Snow White was taken from the Brothers Grimm. You can read our article all about the history of Snow White here.

 

When was Snow White made?

The earliest appearances of Snow White dates back to 1812. In theatre, the first noted performance was in 1937 at the Carthay Circle Theatre.

 

What is Snow White about?

Snow White follows the story of a maiden with fair skin ‘as white as snow’ and raven black hair, who is described as the fairest in all the land. Her wicked and jealous stepmother, upon discovering this, attempts in vain to have her killed. Instead, the huntsman lets her escape, where she finds refuge with seven friendly dwarves. The Evil Queen finds her and tricks her into eating a poisoned apple, which puts her into a deep enchanted sleep where she is eventually awoken by true love’s first kiss.

 

Characters in Snow White 

Snow White

Seven Dwarves 

Evil Queen 

Prince

Magic Mirror

Huntsman

 

Dick Whittington 

Who is Dick Whittington?

Dick Whittington is a well-known tale and arguably one of the most recognised characters in pantomime. It follows the story of a young boy who is out to find his fortune, the story follows a ‘rags to riches’ storyline as Dick, with the help of his cat, helps rid a town of rats and is well rewarded for doing so. Although specific details of the story do vary, the main plot points are the same, with Dick and his trusty cat helping the King, with events finally leading to Dick marrying the princess. 

 

What is Dick Whittington about?

It is said that Dick Whittington is based on the real story of a famous mercer from Gloucestershire called Richard Whittington, who in English folklore, is said to have had a poverty-stricken childhood before finding his fortune in the selling of his cat. This story was first recorded in 1814. Richard Whittington lived in the time of Edward III, and so say, was rewarded by the monarch after his cat rid the King’s Palace of rats, that were discovered after the King had been at sea. 

However, reports vary, as some never credit Richard Whittington as actually owning a cat. Richard Whittington was in fact a highly successful trades merchant, selling fine silks and luxury materials to royalty and nobility. So successful was his enterprise, the Crown borrowed money from him, and eventually, he was recognised and rewarded for his services when he became Mayor of London in 1397. It is reported nowadays that the famous and well-loved pantomime Dick Whittington and his Cat is very loosely based on the character. 

 

Who wrote Dick Whittington?

Thomas Heywood is said to have penned the earliest known editions of folklore about Richard Whittington, dating back to 1656. 

 

Characters in Dick Whittington

Dick Whittington 

Tom the Cat

Good Fairy 

King Rat 

Alice, the King’s Daughter 

The King/Merchant

Pantomime Dame

Idle Jack (The Dame’s son)

 

 

Methodology

We used the Ahrefs keyword explorer tool to find the pantomimes with the most average monthly searches in the UK in 2020. We studied the search volumes for a list of most commonly attended panto titles, re-ordering them by popular search to create the top 10 (by a median of user searches around the terms panto and pantomime). Full search volumes and data are available by request.

The post The UK’s Most Popular Pantomimes appeared first on Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Christmas this year may be a little different from most, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get inspired with some creative Christmas ideas! Spending quality time with loved ones is what Christmas is all about, and although we may not be able to celebrate it quite as we would normally, Blackpool Grand Theatre has found a whole host of fun children’s Christmas activities to enjoy together as a family. 

Blackpool Grand Theatre has decided to pursue other ways to keep families and children entertained this year. Aside from our At Home with You Youtube channel, we will also be publishing a whole host of blogs and inspiration for the Christmas holidays. You can discover our blog here

For now though, let’s dive into some of the best ideas and inspiration for Christmas activities to enjoy with your children this year! In this guide, we’ll take you through some original and creative craft ideas that anybody can enjoy, whatever age!

 

Paper plate crafts

Paper plates! An old and firm favourite that many of us will remember from our early days at school, where paper plates were a  proven popular craft. With so much versatility and variety, the world is your oyster when it comes to paper plates and what you can do with them. Available in a wide variety of colours and materials, paper plates can form the bases of many creations. From penguins to reindeer, to Christmas mobiles, to Santa’s to display around the house; paper plate craft ideas may come in all shapes and sizes. One of the best things about paper plates is the fact that they’re a great starting point to paint, stick, cut, hang and fold, meaning, whatever idea you may have, a paper plate is a great choice of material! 

We’ve found five of our top paper plate crafts for Christmas below. Happy crafting! 

 

Reindeer craft

Reindeer arts and crafts are a great idea for Christmas, and they can help your children get enthused about one of the most recognisable animals associated with this time of year. Whether you want to create a reindeer Christmas decoration or get inventive with cardboard toilet roll, we’ve found some reindeer crafts to get your children inspired below: 

Toilet roll reindeer craft

Candy cane reindeer craft

3D Reindeer craft

Pinecone reindeer

Rudolph Yoghurt Pot craft 

 

DIY Christmas cards

Christmas card craft is a brilliant way to spend time with your children; not only can everyone get creative, but you can also send out all the Christmas cards you make rather than buying them! Handmade Christmas cards give more of a personal touch, and will resonate – especially this year. 

Here are some handy tutorials to follow:

42 Christmas Card Ideas 

33 DIY Christmas Cards 

26 Ideas for DIY Christmas Cards 

 

Christmas wreath

Christmas wreaths are a great craft as they require a fair amount of skill and imagination, but also can become the focal point as people arrive at your door! Christmas wreaths are traditionally hung on the front door of your house, and nowadays, there are lots of ways you can decorate a wreath to make it completely personal to you. Depending on colour schemes, size, or your favourite flowers, you can plan and design your Christmas wreath down to the last leaf. 

 

Mince pies 

What’s not to love about getting creative in the kitchen and being able to enjoy a delicious batch of freshly baked mince pies at the end? Mince pies are incredibly popular at Christmastime – in fact, in 2019 we were predicted to get through a whopping 781 million!  Plus, they don’t have to be overly complicated or messy to make. We’ve found five of our favourite mince pie recipes – check them out below. 

Easy Peasy Mince Pies 

Unbelievably Easy Mince Pies

Easy Mince Pies for Children

Brownie Mince Pies

Pear and apple mince pies 

 

Pom Poms

Check out this delightful christmas pudding pom pom craft! Pom poms are a sure thing to spark joy, and the world is your oyster when it comes to designs, colours and ideas. From snowmen to Christmas puddings, to reindeers or penguins… you can find plenty of inspiration on various craft sites to get your head in the game.

 

Lantern making

Lanterns are a fun and easy craft that can be enjoyed by all ages, and can be as simple or as intricate as the maker wishes! Paper lanterns have been a popular type of craft for years, and their origins lie in ancient China.

 

Christmas crackers

Christmas crackers are a fun and easy craft that you can do at home. What’s more, these can then be used at the dinner table on Christmas Day, and made completely personal. They can be filled with gifts and treats or hand written jokes, and being homemade, as environmentally-friendly as they can be re-used year after year, and will help cut back on the waste all the shop-bought cracker wrappers usually make.

You can find some helpful guides below for homemade Christmas crackers:

Handmade Christmas Crackers – House Beautiful 

Homemade Christmas Crackers – Jamie Oliver

Homemade Christmas Crackers – Mum in the Madhouse

 

Snowman bingo

There are plenty of fun, downloadable and printable bingo games for you and your children to enjoy. You could make a night of it and offer Christmas treats and prizes for the winner. Even better, you can get inspired to make your own bingo boards! You could paint or draw your own designs before enjoying a game. You can find plenty of easy tutorials for snowman bingo online. 

 

Christmas snap

Who doesn’t love snap? Snap is a fun and easy card game that can be as individual and personal as you make it. You could create your own Christmas scenes or discuss everyone’s favourite part of Christmas and include them in the game. Maybe it’s stockings? Maybe it’s an icicle? Or perhaps it’s a candy cane! Get creative and colourful, and enjoy your very own game at the end; what’s not to love?

 

Snowman building pins

Create a Christmassy bowling alley at home! Bowling pins look a lot like snowmen, so why not get creative? Each pin or snowman can have its own unique look, and why not fashion a Christmas pudding bowling ball while you’re at it? The world is truly your oyster! 

Snowmen Tin Can Bowling Pins 

Pinterest Ideas for Snowman Bowling Pins

 

Penguin crafts

Penguins are a lovely winter animal and a great choice for simple designs, or, depending on your creative prowess, can also be more complicated! 

We’ve found a selection of some of our favourite penguin crafts below: 

Penguin craft ideas 

Penguin craft inspiration

 

Photo memory globes

Photo memory globes can make a fantastic Christmas gift, with a truly personal touch which is sure to raise a smile on anybody’s face. They aren’t too tricky to make, and we’ve found a couple of tutorials here for you to follow. 

Top Tip: Why not make it extra special and find a snowy photo to put in the globe as well? Go through any winter holiday snaps to find the perfect one! 

Homemade snow globe tutorial

DIY Snow globes from Spruce crafts

 

Snowflake decoration

The easiest way to decorate a window, or your whole house, should you feel up to it! Simple, effective, and although it’ll likely make a mess, snowflakes are a sure-fire way to make your home Christmassy quickly! All you need is paper and scissors, and a little bit of imagination!

You can get creative yourself and get cutting to see how you go, otherwise, we’ve found some tutorials below to follow: 

How to Make 6 Pointed Paper Snowflakes 

Decorating with Paper Snowflakes

 

Write a Christmas story 

If your children are budding writers, why not set up a Christmas story workshop and get their creative juices flowing? You could even turn the stories into actual books and gift them as presents. This can become a perfect gift, family tradition, or sentimental keepsake in years to come. We’ve found some links to help get you started: 

Things to Consider for a Christmas story

Christmas story starters

 

DIY Christmas wrapping paper

DIY wrapping paper can while away the hours, with everyone getting as creative as they like. Not to mention it’s also better for the environment with less paper wastage and most shop-bought varieties not being recyclable. From stamps on brown paper to repurposed tissue paper, we’ve found some fantastic inspiration below:

21 DIY Gift Wrap Ideas

How to Make Your Own Unique Wrapping Paper

DIY Wrapping Paper Design Inspiration

  

Christmas pinecone crafts

How do you decorate pine cones for Christmas?

Well, there are several ways you can. From glitter to ribbon, to adding them to a wreath, pinecones are a lovely natural gift and are eponymous with the festive season. The great thing about working with pinecones is that you can embark on a winter walk to find everything you need first! Check out these inspiration articles below, full of Christmas pine cone craft ideas! 

Christmas Pine cone inspiration

Best DIY pine cone craft ideas

Christmas Pine cone decoration  

And there you have it! Plenty of ideas and inspiration to keep the family busy this Christmas!

The post Christmas Activities: Ideas & Inspiration from Blackpool Grand appeared first on Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Pure Pantomonium Success – Blackpool Grand’s Christmas production Pantomonium! went on sale just a couple of weeks ago and the theatre has been inundated in thousands of calls and bookings. The number of tickets sold has been recorded in its history as the theatre’s biggest ever.

With six characters, four actors and twice the fun, Blackpool Grand Theatre recently announced that, with the generous support of producer Martin Dodd of UK Productions, BBC Radio Lancashire presenter, and Britain’s Got Talent ‘finalist’ Steve Royle, and West End’s Tom Lister will perform a condensed and COVID-safe pantomime fundraiser written by the Award winning script writer of Beauty and the Beast Jon Monie to ensure Christmas isn’t cancelled at Blackpool’s Grand!

We can now announce that Steve Royle and Tom Lister will be joined by two other Grand Theatre regulars’ TVs Milkshake! host Olivia Birchenough and as this year’s Dame EastEnders Nick Wilton.

Olivia Birchenough said of joining the cast ‘I feel so privileged to be a part of Pantomonium! this Christmas. When I was asked to return to The Grand to help raise much needed funds I did not even think twice. I cannot wait to be back on stage in the most beautiful theatre in the land, with our small yet mighty cast!’

Nick Wilton added ‘I’m really excited to be back in Blackpool this Christmas for my 3rd pantomime at The Grand – my 13th season with UK Productions and my 21st playing Dame.

Having sadly seen pantomimes around the country being cancelled one by one through the summer, it was wonderful to get the call from Martin Dodd at UK Productions saying that The Grand was going ahead with Jon Monie’s specially written Covid-safe show (he wrote the award-winning version of Beauty & The Beast that we did in Blackpool two years ago).

It will be great to work with Steve again – we always have such fun – although I think I’ll have to keep a “motherly” eye on him and Tom, as I hear they can be very naughty boys when they get together; I’m really looking forward to meeting Olivia too.

It’s going to be a fantastic show – keeping the spirit of Pantomime alive but in a really different and exciting way; And it’s raising money for The Grand so future generations can continue to enjoy live entertainment in this magnificent theatre.’

Ruth Eastwood, Grand Theatre Chief Executive said ‘We are overwhelmed by the local community’s support.  We thought we knew how much The Grand meant to many, but the thousands of messages we have received, donations and offers of support have been incredible. Martin, Steve, Tom, Jon the writer and many other industry creatives who have worked at our beloved theatre really have shown what The Grand means to them.  Without their, and your, support we could not have dreamed of being able to put on a Christmas show this year.

‘We are still raising money, so if you, or anyone you know, would like to donate, please go to blackpoolgrand.co.uk/recoveryfund, because the fight is not over just yet.’

Anthony Stone, Chair of Blackpool Grand (Arts and Entertainment) Ltd added ‘Like Ruth the board thank the community for their tremendous support and belief in us.

‘I’m delighted that there will be a show on our stage this Christmas. All profits from this year’s Pantomonium! will go towards building a stronger future for Blackpool’s Grand.’

 

Pantomonium-Poster-Master-FINAL-POSTER

 

As one of the many people that have made this possible, Martin Dodd, Producer UK Productions, said ‘Blackpool Grand is very close to my heart, and this year would have been our 25th pantomime in this beautiful theatre. Our Wardrobe Department and costumes for all our productions are still housed in Blackpool.

‘All Pantomonium! profits will go to Blackpool Grand, and we hope with the support of our great audience we create a total sell-out and raise thousands for the theatre.’

Actor, Comic, and Presenter Steve Royle added ‘It was understandable but heart-breaking getting the call saying Pantomime was postponed. I just simply couldn’t let it go, I’d promised Martin and Ruth I’d do anything to make it work.’

Tom Lister joined adding ‘Having performed at Blackpool Grand many times it’s a real favourite of mine. I was keen to help them last year with their 125th Anniversary and it is hard to believe only months later the building was forced to close its doors. Martin contacted me and I agreed we simply had to do something.’

This year’s Pantomonium! special production has been specially written by Great British Pantomime Awards (2019) Winner of Best Script Jon Monie, directed by Anthony Williams, Musical Direction by Sam Coates, Choreography by Katie Hill, and Produced by Martin Dodd of UK Productions Ltd.

Pantomonium! at Blackpool Grand Theatre will perform from Friday 18 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021. There will be three performances a day (11am, 3pm, and 7pm, running for approx. 1hr.15mins with no interval). All seats will be £25.50 per person and only available in set bubbles of 2, 3, 4, 5 or six.

 

The post Pure Pantomonium Success appeared first on Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Blackpool Grand Theatre recently announced that, with the generous support of producer Martin Dodd of UK Productions, BBC Radio Lancashire presenter, and Britain’s Got Talent ‘finalist’ Steve Royle, and West End’s Tom Lister will perform a condensed and COVID-safe pantomime fundraiser to ensure Christmas isn’t cancelled at Blackpool’s Grand!

The Christmas production Pantomonium! went on sale just a week ago and the theatre was inundated in thousands of calls and bookings. The ticket on sale has been recorded as the theatre’s biggest ever in its history.

Blackpool Grand, which has entered Consultation with its staff, will shortly announce a huge reduction in its core team. This week the theatre received news that its bid to the government’s Covid Recovery Fund has been successful.  This will help put the theatre on a stronger footing until March 2021. Sadly, it does not mean that the organisation is out of the woods just yet.

Ruth Eastwood, Grand Theatre Chief Executive said ‘We are overwhelmed by the local community’s support.  We thought we knew how much The Grand meant to many, but the thousands of messages we have received, donations and offers of support have been incredible. Martin, Steve, Tom, Jon the writer and many other industry creatives who have worked at our beloved theatre really have shown what the Grand means to them.  Without their, and your, support we could not have dreamed of being able to put on a Christmas show this year.

‘We have received over £18,000 in individual donations since closing in March and every single donation, from a couple of pounds for a badge, to naming a seat donation, plus  business support such as Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association (BLTOA) all clubbing together and giving a gift.  It all means so much and we would like to sincerely thank everyone.’

‘We are still raising money, so if you, or anyone you know, would like to donate, please go to blackpoolgrand.co.uk/recoveryfund, because the fight is not over just yet.’

Anthony Stone, Chair of Blackpool Grand (Arts and Entertainment) Ltd added ‘Like Ruth the board thank the community for their tremendous support and belief in us. It has been a very difficult time for our dedicated team of staff and volunteers.  Indeed, it’s been devastating for the entire theatre industry.  There has been no work and no place of work since March for most of our employees and, as the furlough scheme comes to an end, we will have to let go of many of our wonderful workers.  I’d like to thank them too

‘I’m delighted that there will be a show on our stage this Christmas. All profits from this year’s Pantomonium! will go towards building a stronger future for Blackpool’s Grand. The theatre is committed to returning in 2021 with, not only an offer of great shows, but a programme of interactive work for schools and the community’.

As one of the many people that have made this possible, Martin Dodd, Producer UK Productions, said ‘Blackpool Grand is very close to my heart, and this year would have been our 25th pantomime in this beautiful theatre. Our Wardrobe Department and costumes for all our productions are still housed in Blackpool.

‘Unfortunately, we had to postpone our usual major production as the costs and limitations just wouldn’t work based on COVID safe admission numbers.

‘All profits will go to Blackpool Grand, and we hope with the support of our great audience we create a total sell-out and raise thousands for the theatre.’

Actor, Comic, and Presenter Steve Royle added ‘It was understandable but heart-breaking getting the call saying Pantomime was postponed. I just simply couldn’t let it go, I’d promised Martin and Ruth I’d do anything to make it work.’

Tom Lister joined adding ‘Having performed at Blackpool Grand many times it’s a real favourite of mine. I was keen to help them last year with their 125th Anniversary and it’s hard to believe only months later the building was forced to close its doors. Martin contacted me and I agreed we simply had to do something.’

Pantomonium! at Blackpool Grand Theatre will perform from Friday 18 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021. There will be three performances a day (11am, 3pm, and 7pm, running for approx. 1hr.15mins with no interval). All seats will be £25.50 per person and only available in set bubbles of 2, 3, 4, 5 or six.

The post A Community Thank You appeared first on Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Blackpool Grand Theatre has been successful in its application for £483,666 to the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Grant Scheme.

The grant, which aims to support the theatre whilst it is unable to open with consistently financially viable productions, will pay to keep a small staff team in place to look after the building and its business through until 31 March 2021.  It will also underwrite the cost of unavoidable job losses, preparations to re-open with covid-secure provisions in place and help rebuild the theatre’s reserves, ready to be able to return to full operation when this is possible.

Tony Stone, Chairman of the Charity which operates the Grand said “We are beyond grateful to be awarded this grant by the Government.  It is an absolute life-line.  Since March we have been unable to earn any income as shows have cancelled or postponed.  We have relied on generous individual donations from our supporters, along with grant support from Arts Council England and Blackpool Council, plus the Furlough scheme to avoid insolvency.  This additional grant makes the difference between permanent closure and the potential to return when it is safe and viable to do so”.

Roger Lloyd Jones, Chairman of the Charity which owns the Grade II* Listed, Frank Matcham Theatre said “The Grand is a jewel in Blackpool’s crown.  It is a beautiful heritage asset but, most importantly of all, it is a working theatre which entertains, inspires and educates thousands of local audience members and workshop participants every year.  Throughout this period of closure, we have been caring for this lovely historic building and now, this grant gives us the opportunity to breathe life back into it when things return to something like normal in the near future.  I’d like to thank the Government for this vital support.”

John Grady, Chairman of the Friends of the Grand, which has provided financial and voluntary support to the theatre since the early 1970s said “this is really wonderful. The Friends of the Grand are part of the fabric of this beautiful theatre.  In normal times we stuff envelopes, tear tickets and sell coffee to thousands of loyal customers.  Since March we have been unable to support our favourite theatre as it has been unable to open.  We realise that we still don’t know when this will be possible, but this fantastic grant will, at least, mean that we can prepare to return when circumstances allow.  It’s wonderful”.

Ruth Eastwood, Chief Executive of the Grand said “it is with very mixed feelings that I welcome news of this grant.  It comes at a time when we have had no choice but to put our entire team, including myself, at risk of redundancy and in consultation about reduced terms and conditions of employment.  With no work and no place of work available to our 57-strong team and the Furlough scheme ending, we have no choice but to reduce the headcount at the theatre.  This is to ensure we can slow down the speed with which cash is flowing out of our reserves.  I’d like to thank my dedicated and hard-working team, plus board members and volunteers for their tremendous support and forbearance at this difficult time. This grant is designed to help our theatre recover from the tremendous blow that Covid-19 had dealt, not just to us, but to the entire theatre and arts industry.  We will use it wisely to be ready to invest in welcoming audiences, artists and staff, safely back into the beautiful Grand when we can”.

The post Grand Theatre Successful COVID-19 Recovery Grant appeared first on Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Blackpool Grand Theatre has announced that with the generous support of producer Martin Dodd of UK Productions, panto legend, BBC Radio Lancashire presenter, and Britain’s Got Talent ‘finalist’ Steve Royle, and special guest West End and TV’s Tom Lister a condensed and COVID-safe pantomime fundraiser will ensure Christmas isn’t cancelled this year at Blackpool’s Grand!

The Christmas production Pantomonium! will run with strict COVID safeguards for a limited time and for a limited period – a sell-out is guaranteed!

Created by Jon Monie (winner of Best Script at The Great British Pantomime Awards 2019 for ‘Beauty & the Beast’), Pantomonium! is a specially written, one-act pantomime about pantomime.

When the beloved panto character, Fairy Tales, is kidnapped by the villainous Killjoy, an extraordinary adventure unfolds as the hunt for the all-powerful magic book begins.

Stepping out of the chorus-line, a young unnamed girl from the village of Ensemble joins the adventure to help find the missing manuscript. Along for the ride are the handsome Prince Charmless, and the hapless Tilly and Billy Topps from the local Panto Emporium.

With laughter and mayhem at every turn, the forces of good and evil fight to the final page over the future of pantomime itself.

A concentrated pantomime……just add laughter!

Matin Dodd, Producer UK Productions said ‘Blackpool Grand is very close to my heart, and this year would have been our 25th pantomime in this beautiful theatre. Our Wardrobe Department and costumes for all our productions are still housed in Blackpool.

‘Unfortunately, we had to postpone our usual major production as the costs and limitations just wouldn’t work based on COVID safe admission numbers.

‘However, after long discussions and the generous support of Steve Royle, Tom Lister and many of our regular suppliers we’ve created a show, a fantastic show, that’s all about Panto!

‘Full of all the great panto elements Comic, Dame, Prince and Princess (a girl from the village in this case!), and  the usual mayhem Steve creates (safely distanced, of course!), we just can’t wait to get started. I am thrilled that we can bring Steve and Tom back together following their hilarious antics in last year’s hit Peter Pan.

‘All profits will go to Blackpool Grand, and we hope with the support of our great audience we create a total sell-out.”

Actor, Comic, and Presenter Steve Royle added ‘It was understandable but heart-breaking getting the call saying Pantomime was postponed. I just simply couldn’t let it go, I’d promised Martin and Ruth I’d do anything to make it work.

‘We kept talking and we all agreed our love for Blackpool’s Grand just made us want to find a way to help secure the theatre’s future and save panto and Christmas at the same time, so a fundraiser of a shorter, more COVID-safe version was considered and we are all working hard to make it work along with the kindness and support of others.

‘I cannot wait to be back on that stage, every performance is going to be so special…oh and very, very, funny!’

Ruth Eastwood, Chief Executive Blackpool Grand Theatre added ‘I’ll tell you, there’s been many sleepless nights! First having to close and then to cancel pantomime – the one show that we know means so much to local families – it’s been devastating.  But the wonderful support we have received has been really heart-warming and spurred us on to try and salvage Christmas.

‘After days and nights of conversations about how we could make a production work, I am delighted to say with the  support of Martin at UK Productions, Steve Royle and Tom Lister we are able to offer this unique Seasonal experience and help raise funds the theatre desperately needs. I guarantee this production will be from the heart, every single person involved just wants to get back on our beautiful stage and entertain. It has been an incredibly emotional time.

‘This will be a unique production, the only show of 2020 following our closure in March. All socially distanced seats will be the same price and, limited numbers available for each performance, you’ll need to book yours fast!’

Tom Lister joined adding ‘Having performed at Blackpool Grand many times it’s a favourite of mine. I was keen to help them last year with their 125th Anniversary and it’s hard to believe only months later the building was forced to close its doors. Martin contacted me and I agreed we had to do something.

It’s going to be a fantastic production and we all know the quality UK Productions are known for at Blackpool Grand. There is going to be a few less people on stage and a few less of you, so bring your enthusiasm in spades, you’re in for a great time! We can’t wait to see you all.’

Pantomonium! will run at Blackpool Grand Theatre from Friday 18 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021. There will be three performances a day (11am, 3pm, and 7pm, running for approx. 1hr.15mins with no interval). All seats will be £25.50 per person and only available in set bubbles of 2, 3, 4 or six.

General sales open online only Saturday, 10 October 2020 at 7:30pm. Phonelines (limited) will open from Monday, 12 October 2020 from 10am.

For your safety: Strict COVID-safeguards will be in place including track-and-trace, specialist cleaning, temperature checks, facemasks must be worn, and sanitiser will be provided. Tickets will only be available in advance and full customer details will need to be provided for UK Government Track and Trace. If a performance is cancelled full refunds will be given. Tickets will only be available in bubbles of 2, 3, 4, 5 and six. Set timed arrivals will be in place, and late arrivals will not be accepted.

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: Blackpool Grand Theatre will follow the safety and hygiene measures for businesses set out by the UK Government in its performing arts guidance. As such, tickets are only available in fixed groups, where 2, 3, 4, 5 or a maximum of 6 tickets are seated together; each group must only consist of one household or support bubble; each group is distanced by at least 1-metre from the other groups; audiences are not sat face-to-face; everyone is temperature screened on arrival; and face coverings are mandatory throughout the venue (medical awareness bands will be issued to those who are exempt so other guests are aware. Proof will be required). Set arrival times to enter the venue will also be in place, late arrivals will not be accepted.

The post Pantomonium! A Riotous Romp Through Pantomime appeared first on Blackpool Grand Theatre.

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August, 2015

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