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From opera, ballet and Shakespeare to variety, musicals and comedy giants, The Grand Theatre caters for every age, pocket and personality.

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Grand Returns to its Original Footprint - for the first time in more than 40 years

The Friends of The Grand today announced that, after thirty-five years of fundraising, they have, at last, achieved their long-held ambition to return the Grand Theatre to its original architectural footprint.

John Buck, Friends of Blackpool Grand Theatre Chairman

When Frank Matcham, the famous Victorian theatre designer, was commissioned to create the Grand Theatre in 1893 its owner, Thomas Sergenson, briefed him to incorporate a number of small shops on Church Street into the design.

However, back in 1981, when the Friends purchased the Grade II* listed building from the then owners, EMI, these units were not included in the sale.  Ever since, the Friends have been saving in a special fund for the day when it might be possible to buy them.

Well, that day has come and John Buck, Chairman of the Friends of the Grand said ‘it’s like a dream come true.  We’ve been saving for this day for years; selling raffle tickets, lapel badges, holding coffee mornings and, even as recently as April we received a bequest from our long-serving Treasurer, Alan Sears, who sadly died earlier this year.  It came with the specific instruction that it should only be spent of the purchase of the shops.  Alan will be smiling down on us this day’.

John, who is now in his seventies, was one of the original group who raised the money to save the theatre from demolition in 1973.  He, along with other passionate and dedicated Friends, cleaned, repaired and painted in their spare time to get the building back on its feet ready for its reopening and dedication from HRH The Prince of Wales in 1981. 

‘We were invited to buy the shops back in the 1990s’ remembers John, ‘but, back then, the owners wanted more than a million pounds for them and we thought we’d never be able to raise that much.  And we were right!  Obviously, times have changed, and, thankfully, we’ve been able raise enough to buy them for less than half that price'.

When the purchase is complete, the deeds of the properties will be donated to the Grand Theatre Trust, the heritage conservation charity which owns and cares for this beautiful historic building. 

Roger Lloyd Jones, Chairman of the Trust said ‘there are many, many people who have made this wonderful purchase possible and I would like to thank everyone who has helped. The theatre is now 122 years old and, as you can imagine, needs constant care and attention.  We hope the shops will prove an asset to the theatre, providing a small but much-needed rental income to be re-invested in the upkeep of this precious architectural gem’.

The Friends of the Grand are a registered Charity.

Today, the Friends of the Grand still volunteer their services as Front of House staff, envelope-stuffers and runners of the theatre’s coffee stall.  Last year, they provided 13,174 hours of voluntary service for the theatre at a value of £88,000.

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New Season at Blackpool Grand Theatre

SEPTEMBER 2016 TO MARCH 2017

New Season at Blackpool Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool announces an exciting new programme of shows for 2016/ 17. With an incredible line-up of drama, musicals, dance, opera, music and comedy–there’s something for everyone to enjoy at The Grand!

Grand Theatre Chief Executive Ruth Eastwood said,

“At the Grand Theatre we always strive to offer our audiences the best quality and variety of arts and entertainment, with productions as diverse as Ellen Kent’s Aida, Stickman and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Tempest, we hope that everyone will be able to find something that appeals to them in our autumn 2016 programme.”

Call Box Office on 01253 74 33 39 or visit blackpoolgrand.co.uk

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A Grand New Refurbishment for Blackpool Theatre.

Blackpool Grand Theatre has completed its major refurbishment project on time and on budget.

Grand Conference Room

The £1m backstage project saw new rehearsal and dressing rooms created along with a new multi-use space and an open plan office suite. The project has delivered modern facilities that sit comfortably in the Grade II* listed theatre.

Blackpool Grand Theatre refurbishment

Blackpool Grand Theatre Trust chair, Roger Lloyd Jones, commented, “I am extremely proud of what has been delivered on a tight budget while keeping the theatre open throughout the work programme.

Meeting room at Blackpool Grand Theatre

“Our architect, Lawrence Mcburney from Cassidy + Ashton; project manager, Shaun Ward from Blackpool Council; and contractors, Parkinsons, worked in close partnership with us to sensitively upgrade and extend our facilities.

"None of this would have been possible without the financial support of Arts Council England, Friends of The Grand, Garfield Weston Trust, and Blackpool Council.

"My thanks to our CEO, Ruth Eastwood, and her team for completing the project on time and on budget.

"We are now able to offer a variety of additional facilities to local arts organisations for meetings, functions, rehearsals and small-scale performances.”

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Ambition for Excellence

Two New Projects Delivered By The Grand Theatre In Partnership With LeftCoast

Ruth Eastwood, Grand Theatre Blackpool

Blackpool Grand Theatre is pleased to announce that its application to Arts Council England’s ‘Ambition for Excellence’ Fund has been successful.  The fund has been created to stimulate and support ambition, talent and excellence in the arts, particularly outside London. 

The award totals £680,000 and will be used to commission two pieces of work for the town, both of which will involve artists of international standing as well as local talent to create exciting new events in 2016 and 2017.  The two new projects will be delivered by the Grand Theatre in partnership with LeftCoast.

Michael Trainor, Artistic Director of LeftCoast, said: “Winning this major national award from Arts Council England is a huge vote of confidence in Blackpool’s creative community and will bring the very highest quality creative experiences to the amazing locations and good people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast.”

For the first piece, the partners will work with the renowned company dreamthinkspeak.  dreamthinkspeak hasn’t created a new work in the North West of England since Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.  The company’s highly imaginative ways of working and the amazing artistic experiences that they create will attract both locals and visitors to Blackpool.

Tristan Sharps, Artistic Director of dreamthinkspeak, said: “This is wonderful news! I’m really looking forward to my stay in Blackpool and creating a show for a secret and fantastical site at the heart of the town! As always with a dreamthinkspeak project, I will be living in the town during the creation of the show and working closely with large numbers of local residents. I’m really excited to explore and discover how the project will adapt and develop in response to this remarkable town’s past, present and future. I’ve been dreaming about this project for the last two years. This award makes the dream real and I cannot wait to crack on”.

King Kong Comes Back to Blackpool

Older readers might remember a huge King Kong strapped to the front of Blackpool Tower, and the second piece, planned for 2017, will be a re-imagining of the King Kong story, utilising multiple art forms in a variety of locations.  Again working with large numbers of local artists, crafts people and residents, this project will have huge community involvement as well as great spectacle.

Alison Clark, Director Combined Arts & North, and Programme lead for Ambition for Excellence said, “This award represents a very significant moment for arts in Blackpool. This exciting internationally important programme illustrates the impact of the innovative cultural leaders in the town, and we look forward to seeing its powerful long term effects on artists and the arts infrastructure in Blackpool and beyond.”

Ruth Eastwood, CEO of the Grand Theatre (pictured) said: “We don’t want to give too much away just now.  These are big and important projects that will help consolidate Blackpool’s growing reputation as a place with culture at its heart; celebrating the uniqueness of this amazing town and offering new and different artistic experiences to people, young and old.  Now the hard work starts to create something really special.”

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Reader Review: The History Boys

Regular Visit Fylde Coast reader Peter and his wife went on Tuesday evening to see The History Boys at the Grand Theatre. 

Reader review of The History Boys at The Grand Theatre Blackpool

It’s a well known play by the acclaimed playwright Alan Bennett. Set in Yorkshire in the 1980’s with a background of 80’s music and revolving around a group of male students and their teachers and Head,  and a good sized cast which adds interest.   

With humour and intelligence  the students joust for mastery of their teachers while the teachers challenge for mastery of method. All the while sexual tensions rise between students, school staff and teachers led by the school Lothario and tester of all boundaries. 

The headmaster is driven by results the teachers by their teaching styles. It certainly stretched my grey matter, debating the merit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake and knowledge for exam success. Are they bound for Oxford or Nottingham. Will their interview rehearsals help?

In the end one teacher is in a wheelchair and another perhaps died for his belief and the students declare their life paths. It’s a lot to take in and the brain needs to be working well to get the most out of it. Although maybe you just take in the characters, jokes and student humour.

It was another good night out and well attended at the lovely Grand Theatre.

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Reader Review: Pat Barker’s 'Regeneration'

Regeneration at The Grand Theatre Blackpool

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool marked the centenary of the First World War by hosting the final dates of the world premiere tour of Pat Barker’s Booker-nominated novel Regeneration from Tuesday 25 to Saturday 29 November 2014

Regular Visit Fylde Coast reader Peter and his wife visited the matinee of ‘Regeneration’.

"The play is highly rated and quite a coup for the Grand. There was a good sized audience topped up by a lot of teenagers from local schools. The play has a serious theme in a war hospital based on some truth but it also has humour. Especially from the northern lad who isn’t normal officer class and has always defied his asthma. In the background is the contrast between the relatively pleasant life in the hospital and the harsh life at the front line. Whether it encourages malingering and the complex feeling of guilt for being a survivor.

The story is well written and presented keeping the attention through a lot of clever scene and costume changes as well as convincing acting.

The two officer poets, Sigmund Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, are well known and offer insight to war poetry.  As a bit of local interest Wilfred Owen in real life spent some time at Fleetwood Rifle Range.

The story hinges around Sigmund Sassoon, who has written an anti-war paper and because of friends has been declared mentally unfit rather than shot, and the doctor in charge whose job is to get the men fit to return to the front line. Also Wilfred Owen who adulates Sigmund and his poetry although it’s not fully reciprocated. The patients are a mixed selection of officers with early 20th century attitudes which are genuine belief but often appear slightly humorous now. There is emotional turmoil, men suffering from shell shock.

This play is a lot more gripping than expected and it seemed like we had travelled on a journey that kept the interest high right through.

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Reader Review: A Jolly, Confused Caper!

Regular Visit Fylde Coast reader Peter and his wife review Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool presented by the English Touring Theatre, 23rd October 2014  

Twelfth Night at the Grand theatre

This is the first of Shakespeare’s comedies I’ve seen and a jolly, confused, caper it is with excellent acting and imaginative use of stage props.   Matinee shows usually have an older audience but plays like this often have schools in the audience. Today youngish 10/11 year olds filled a large section.   They really enjoyed the comic scenes and were well behaved, a credit to the schools.

This production has a 19th Century feel for the set and costume.  Like many Shakespeare plays it takes a while to get your ear tuned to the 16th century dialogue.   The opening scenes make good use of effects as the twins are washed ashore in a storm.  The parts are introduced and for a while it seems a bit slow going. The show has a lot of lows and highs.  When Mr Belch really has had too much to drink the show lifts off.  The children loved these scenes of drunkenness and Mr Belch is brilliantly played.  

The trick played on Malvolio that makes him appear a madman is pure mischief and we love his socks even if the lady doesn’t.   The show becomes a frenzy of activity with women pretending to be men in love with men and women in love with women believing them to be men and a servant  tricked into appearing mad locked in a cell.  Meanwhile the Fool plays on.  It was a sign of a play well done that the end scenes of the twines re-united were quite touching - something in my eye again.

Some famous lines are in this play:  ‘Some are born into greatness, some achieve greatness and some have it thrust upon them’.  The wonderful line ‘none can be called deformed but the unkind’  brought some giggles from the younger section of the audience and I wondered why, it is a great thought and from the year 1600.   ‘If music be the food of love, play on’. All that and more in one play.

The acting by everyone is excellent, this is a top class production with a good sized cast using an interesting interpretation and props. Well worth seeing.

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Reader Review: Simon & Garfunkel - Keeping the Customer Satisfied

The Simon & Garfunkel Story was on for one night at the Grand in September and Visit Fylde Coast reader Peter and his wife went along to the show. 

The Simon & Garfunkel Story at the Grand Theatre

Not being a massive S&G fan I was wondering how they’d fill the time but thought the story could be interesting.  Many stars begin their careers at a very early age, they were singing together in the early 50’s and keen on harmony. 

The two actors told us the story with photos projected behind them and then burst into song. They seemed to be chosen for their look and that their voices were so like the real thing, especially ‘Garfunkel’.  The Voice of an Angel said ‘Paul’ at the end, and it was true.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story at the Grand Theatre

The show had a very decent sized audience and many who knew all the songs. Starting with their pop Everly Brothers style which the Story says they carried on by always playing an Everly Brothers song in their shows.  Moving to folk in the early 60’s it was a bit of a mixed start.  By Homeward Bound we were moving into friendly ground. It was written when Paul was sitting on Widnes railway station and pining for his English girlfriend and New York we were told.  

‘I am a rock’ was another great song, ‘I have my books and my poetry to protect me’. The vocals and instruments were better than the records, certainly better than some of the re-mastered ultra-clean things you can buy. The show was getting into its stride and at the interval we were trying to recall what was left to play.

Actually the show hadn’t begun. ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’ what a track with that guitar riff and words of passage of time ‘look around the leaves are brown’.  Mrs Robinson, we all know about that, with clips of Dustin Hoffman in the film behind.

Bridge Over Troubled Water was such a mega-album and built up in the Story, full of great tracks. Cecilia, The Boxer and one I’d forgotten that has haunted me since ‘Keep the Customer Satisfied’, an ear-worm it’s said. We were told they were tiring of each other and split a few times.    

‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ seemed ambitious but ‘the voice of an angel’ delivered it without a flutter. Listening to those tracks afterwards it seems the show versions are often better, more presence in the voice and more beat. This show was one without regrets.

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Blackpool is the home of entertainment and presiding over it is the ‘Grand’ Old Lady.

From opera, ballet and Shakespeare to variety, musicals and comedy giants, The Grand Theatre caters for every age, pocket and personality.

When you enter the Victorian auditorium of the Blackpool Grand Theatre you will understand what people mean by ‘the glorious Grand’.

This Frank Matcham designed masterpiece offers ornate, gilded plasterwork, baroque ceiling, cavorting cherubs and cantilevered balconies allowing every seat a clear view of the stage.

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120 Glorious Years!

The Grade II* listed Grand Theatre celebrated its 120th Birthday on Wednesday 23 July 2014.

The Grand Theatre celebrates 120 years

It first opened its doors on 23 July 1894, and still remains as one of the few surviving examples of the work of Frank Matcham.

The Grand Theatre has hosted a multitude of stars since its opening, from Lily Langtree to Michael Macintyre, Gracie Fields to Ken Dodd, Arthur Askey to Lee Evans...and the list goes on!

The Grand Theatre celebrates 120 years
Photo: Sean Conboy

Over the 120 years, it's attracted the very best in award-winning touring companies, including The National Theatre, English Touring Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Opera and Ballet International and the Russian State Ballet.

As well as presenting a programme of quality drama, comedy, dance and children’s theatre, The Grand plays host to the outstanding talents of local performers from groups across Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde.

Ruth Eastwood, Chief Executive said,

“120 years on from first opening its doors, The Grand still remains at the heart of the community, offering people of Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde and the Region the very best in touring productions, as well as opportunities to participate, experience and learn through theatre.”

By the early 1960s theatres across Britain were closing due to loss of audience to television and in July 1972 the then owners, the Tower Company, applied for permission to demolish it. In its place they proposed to build a department store. However, by then, following an application to the Department of the Environment, the theatre had been listed as a Grade II* building and there had to be a full public enquiry.

Early in 1973 the Friends of the Grand was formed and after legal and financial wrangling, they, together with EMI and the local council, put together a deal involving leasing the theatre for £10,000 per annum and final purchase for £250,000.

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The Grand Today

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool is one of Britain’s premier heritage theatres. Listed Grade II*, this Matcham theatre is in the top 8 per cent of all listed buildings in England, and one of only thirty listed buildings in Blackpool. It is one of only nine large theatres listed Grade II* or above, north of London.

The Grand Theatre
Photo: Sean Conboy

The Grand is owned by the Blackpool Grand Theatre Trust Limited. This organisation reopened the theatre in 1981 following the efforts of a number of committed volunteers who saved the theatre from demolition. Restoration work has continued without ever closing the theatre.

This amazing space is a wonder of restoration and revival, presenting a full range of every performing artform, as Blackpool's community theatre, Lancashire's preferred opera house and Britain's National Theatre of Variety.

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The History of The Grand

The Grand Theatre was opened on July 23, 1894, by Thomas Sergenson, Blackpool's first successful theatrical manager.

Sergenson immediately dubbed the theatre 'Matcham's Masterpiece', a title that is even more merited now that there are few surviving examples of the work of Frank Matcham, the leading Victorian theatre architect who designed it.

The Grand Theatre
Photo: Sean Conboy

The theatre took just nine months to build and cost Sergenson £20,000, part of which he had earned by operating two small rented theatres and from a circus that he staged for five summer seasons on the site of The Grand.

During his fifteen years at The Grand, Sergenson presented great stars like Ellen Terry, Madge Kendal, Sarah Bernhardt, Lily Langtry, F R Benson and Dan Leno. In 1909 he sold the theatre for a handsome £47,500 to the Blackpool Tower Company, who ran The Grand for the next sixty-two years.

The Grand was the first Blackpool theatre to present the two big musical hits of World War One - The Maid of The Mountains and Chu Chin Chow - and in the 1920s become noted for staging big American musicals like Rose Marie, The Desert Song and No No Nanette.

The theatre began to be used by top West End producers for British premieres and for forty years many plays and musicals were seen at The Grand 'prior to London'.

After the success of talking pictures, The Grand in the 1930s was a cinema in the winter and staged 'live' shows during the holiday season. Most famous of the 1930s' attractions was Gracie Fields, who made all her Blackpool Variety appearances from 1932 to 1938 at The Grand Theatre.

The Grand Theatre
Photo: Sean Conboy

When the Tower Company began to build the new Blackpool Opera House in 1938, The Grand was returned to its role as an all-year playhouse. The first summer season show was held in 1940. It was a variety revue starring local comedian Harry Korris, who returned the following summer with a stage version of his famous Happidrome radio show.

During World War Two, Blackpool was a safe haven from German bombing and many great stars and shows came to The Grand. There were visits by Gielgud, Evans, Ashcroft, Harrison, Vivien Leigh, Flora Robson, Robert Donat, John Mills and Emlyn Williams.

In October, 1942, Noel Coward premiered and appeared in two of his plays and the prestige of The Grand continued through the 1950s, which was a glittering decade in spite of the growing impact of television. Holiday-makers of the 1950s and 1960s best remember The Grand for the highly successful summer season forces, starring comedy favourites like Arthur Askey, Thora Hird, Glenn Melvyn, Danny Ross, Hylda Baker, Freddie Frinton, Sid James and Jack Douglas.

By the early 1960s theatres across Britain were closing due to loss of audience to television. The Grand survived longer than most, thanks to the backing of the Tower Company. But the shortage of good shows, coupled with declining ticket sales, forced a policy of winter closure from 1963. Fewer big names came to the theatre, although the summer season forces continued to make money.

In the mid 1960s, the theatre was included in a town centre redevelopment plan. The result of this was that in July 1972 the Tower Company applied for permission to demolish it. In its place they proposed a department store.

By then, however, following an application to the Deparment of the Environment, the theatre had been listed as a Grade II building. Because of that, there had to be a full public enquiry.

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The Saving of the Grand

Early in 1973 there was a meeting at a local hotel where the Friends of The Grand was formed specifically to resist the application, which by then was supported by the Local Authority.

In 1975, after years of disuse, it became obvious that the Tower Company were planning to turn The Grand into a bingo hall. After another round of legal and financial wrangling, the Friends of the Grand, together with EMI and the local council put together a deal involving leasing the theatre for £10,000 per annum and final purchase for £250,000.

The Grand Theatre
Photo: Sean Conboy

After the eventual purchase of the theatre by The Grand Theatre Trust, in September, 1980, dozens of 'Friends' helped to refurbish the dressing rooms and backstage areas in readiness for The Grand's reopening in the week of Monday March 23, 1981, by Timothy West and Prunella Scales in the Old Vic production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

In May 1981, the theatre had a prestigious two-week visit by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company with their Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire, and on May 29 the ultimate theatrical honour of a Royal Variety Performance in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.

The audience for weekly theatre, which had dissolved during the nine-year closure of The Grand, was slowly won back and developed during the 1980s. The Grand brought Northern Ballet Theatre and London City Ballet to Blackpool on regular visits. Annual concerts by The Halle and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras became a feature Opera appeared on the theatre's calendar of events, first by Opera 80 and now from international travelling Opera companies.

The theatre proves that, when scheduled within a varied programme of plays, dance, musicals and concerts, there is a healthy demand for the arts in Blackpool and the surrounding areas.

Adapted from "A Short History of the Grand Theatre" by Barry Band, Grand Theatre historian and Director of the Grand Theatre Trust Ltd, and "How the Grand was Saved" by A Burt Briggs (TD), Vice-President of the Grand Theatre Trust and Founder of the Friends of the Grand, published in the pamphlet "Centenary Appeal: Blackpool Grand Theatre 1894-1994".



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Blackpool
Lancashire
FY1 1HT


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Special Offers, Promotions & News              

A unique chance for four women to join the cast of Gary Clarke’s COAL

The drama, the tragedy and the unbreakable spirit of a working class community fighting for its future comes to the stage as Gary Clarke Company embarks on a major national tour with COAL!

COAL at Blackpool Grand Theatre

And there’s unique opportunity for four women to make their own contribution to the story as they join dancers and musicians for a remarkable live theatre tribute to the people living in the coalfields.

Gary Clarke Company’s COAL is a riveting dance theatre show that takes a nostalgic but honest look at the hard hitting realities of life at the coal face, the back breaking physical graft and the impact it makes on body and soul, both underground and on the surface.

It is created by internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer Gary Clarke, who has vivid memories and personal experience of growing up in the Dearne Valley pit village of Grimethorpe, where he continues to live today.

Four Local Women Wanted

Gary is looking for four women aged 30 plus (no upper limit) with no professional experience in dance to join him, his seven dancers and a live brass quintet on stage as COAL tours the UK (4 local women recruited for each tour venue). The four women will feature in a small section of the show and play members of the women’s union ‘Women against Pit Closures’ established in 1984.

The four women, who will receive a food and travel allowance to cover rehearsals, will perform alongside and be supported by acclaimed dance artist TC Howard.

No stage or dance experience is necessary, although the role will involve some physical work. Gary Clarke and TC Howard will work with everyone’s individual needs and abilities.

Kelly Leighton is a cleaner from the mining village of Kellingley who was one of the team of volunteers taking part in a special preview at Cast in Doncaster last year. She says:

“It was exciting, exhilarating, emotional, rewarding... the team could not have been more welcoming and understanding and it really did feel we were in it together. The bond we developed with the professionals was beautiful. My involvement in COAL has changed my entire interpretation of theatre. I feel immensely proud. To anybody with the opportunity of taking part, I would say go for it!”

How to take part

Anybody interested in finding out more about the production and the involvement needed should apply to attend an open Taster. Tasters provide an opportunity to meet Gary Clarke & TC Howard, find out more about the production, ask questions and try out some ideas from the show. Following this session, four women will be selected to take part in the show. Ticket deals to see the show will be made available to all women who have attended the Taster.

For any enquiries or to register interest in attending a Taster e-mail or call:
Laura Barber
Engagement Manager
Mob: 07391 621966 or Email: engagementcoal@gmail.com (and please mention that you saw it here, thanks!) 

You would need to be able to commit to:

Blackpool Grand Theatre, Performances: Wed 29 March 7:30pm

Taster, Friday 3 March 6.30pm-9pm at Phil Winston's Theatreworks, 66/74 The Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 1HB

Intensive weekend, Sat 25 & Sun 26 Mar 10-4pm at The Grand Theatre

Venue rehearsals and performances, Tue 28 Mar 11am-6pm fittings, rehearsals and tech run, Wed 29 Mar needed from 1.30pm dress rehearsal, show 7.30pm / Post show talk

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GRAND THEATRE PLAY READING GROUP

Following continued success of The Grand Theatre, Blackpool’s Play Reading Group, (which takes place on the second Saturday of every month) we are delighted to announce our 2017 dates.

On the Second Saturday of Every Month 1.30pm – 3.30pm.
Saturday’s - 11 March, 8 April, 13 May, 10 June, 8 July, 12 August, 9 September, 14 October, 11 November

Playreading at Blackpool Grand Theatre

Perfect for anyone who relishes reading and engaging in discussion about great titles from some of the world’s leading play writes.

This friendly group enjoy getting together and revel in discussion on the aspects of the title. They welcome new members on any date, so feel free to join at any time over the next year, you don’t have to attend them all.

Be assured of a warm welcome and a lively discussion, with no acting experience or speaking ability required!

Tickets are £3 which includes tea and biscuits. Tickets can be purchased prior to the event or on the day at the Box Office. 

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Friends of The Grand Coffee Morning

23 March at 10.30am

Friends of The Grand Coffee Morning

At each Friends Coffee Morning there will be a different guest speaker from either the Theatre or the world of show business.

Due to popularity please book your ticket in advance online, at the Box Office or by calling 01253 290190.

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Insights: Theatre Heritage Tour

23 March at 11am

Insights Heritage Tours Grand Theatre Blackpool

There is no theatre quite like The Grand. The published descriptions in 1894 said so, and contemporary theatregoers agree. Renowned as architect Frank Matcham’s masterpiece it has a long and lively history.

Join us for one of our Heritage Theatre Tours on Tuesday 26th January led by theatre archivists Geoff and Linda Tolson MBE. Stand on the raked stage and observe the cantilevered tiers of circles, boxes and pit - and the complete visibility of every seat in this atmospheric house.

- See the secrets of the great stage
- Take in Blackpool’s hidden gem
- Learn about flamboyant architect Frank Matcham
- Explore the warren of staircases that lead to the stars dressing rooms and beyond

The Grand Theatre was opened on July 23, 1894, by Thomas Sergenson, Blackpool’s first successful theatrical manager.

Prices and book tickets here

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Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

8pm - Friday 3 March

Comedy Club at Grand Theatre Blackpool

Welcome to the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club at The Grand Studio - bringing the best live stand-up to Blackpool!

Each show will have 4 comics including MC Damion Larkin 'One of the country's top new comedians' BBC.

Wherever possible we'll be bringing you comedians off the telly from such shows as BBC2's Mock The Week, Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats, BBC1's Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, Have I Got News For You, and Paramount's Live at The Comedy Store.

Previously acts have included Jason Manford, John Bishop and Sarah Millican before they hit the big time. So come and see more brilliant comedians!

Prices and book tickets here

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February 2017 at The Grand Theatre

20-25 Feb - Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story

Buddy Holly Story at Blackpool Grand Theatre

Monday 20 to Saturday 25 February, shows at 7.30pm and matinees at 2.30pm on 22 & 25

Seen by over 22 million people worldwide
Book now for the most successful rock and roll show of all time!

This sensational multi award winning West End show is coming to the Grand Theatre!

Forget feel good, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is FEEL GREAT! Experience the drama, passion and excitement as a cast of phenomenally talented actors and musicians tell Buddy Holly’s story, from his meteoric rise to fame, to his final legendary performance at The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Featuring two terrific hours of the greatest songs ever written, including That’ll Be The Day, Oh Boy, Rave On,
La Bamba, Chantilly Lace, Johnny B. Goode, Raining In My Heart, Everyday, Shout and many many more, this show is just Peggy Sue-perb!

“This show is an absolute must. If you haven’t seen the brilliant musical Buddy yet, buy your ticket now!”
The Sun

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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26 Feb - You Win Again: The Story of the Bee Gees

You Win Again, Bee Gees Story at Blackpool Grand Theatre

Sunday 26 February at 7.30pm

You remember the songs. Now experience their story.

Following its West End Debut at the Leicester Square Theatre, You Win Again – The Story of The Bee Gees will be embarking on its first ever nationwide tour.

Immerse yourself into the brother’s hits through the Sixties, Seventies & Eighties, topped off with a glittering array of iconic artists they wrote for. This spectacular production tells the incredible story of The Bee Gees in an all new musical experience.

Follow the band and their lives, through the early charting triumphs and fall from grace onto their meteoric climb back to the top…to become the multi-million selling Super Group we know and love today.

This breath-taking concert spectacular takes you on a musical journey through all your favourite songs, including: Night Fever, Stayin’ Alive, More Than A Woman, You Should Be Dancing, How Deep is Your Love?, Jive Talkin’, Tragedy, Massachusetts, Words, I’ve Got to Get a Message to You, Too Much Heaven, Islands in the Stream, Grease, If I Can’t Have You and many more!

You Win Again – The Story of The Bee Gee’s, touring the UK from January 2017

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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28 Feb - First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Tempest - At Our Lady of Assumption

First encounters with Shakespeare at Our Lady of Assumption

Tuesday 28 February at 7pm

On a crazy island swirling with sounds, exiled Duke Prospero uses magic to create a home within the wilderness.

As his beloved daughter Miranda falls in love with a shipwrecked stranger from their homeland, she rebels against his power. Prospero must risk forgiving those who betrayed him, or lose her forever.

Fun, fantasy and sorcery collide in this gripping story of how love and reconciliation can conquer fear and control. This new production from the RSC is an ideal first experience of Shakespeare for anyone aged 8 and above. Using Shakespeare’s original language, this edited version lasts 90 minutes and includes a fully interactive introduction to the world of the play.

Please note this performance is not at the Grand Theatre, It will be on at Our Lady of Assumption School. If you would prefer to see the Tempest at the Grand Theatre, click here.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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1 Mar - Jon Richardson: Old Man

Jon Richardson, Old Man at Blackpool Grand Theatre

Wednesday 1 March at 8pm

The British Comedy Award nominee and star of Live At The Apollo and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Jon Richardson is embarking on a nationwide tour to complain about the state of the world and offer no solutions.

Since his last show he has become a husband and father, seen the UK vote to leave the EU and watched the rise of Donald Trump, all of which leaves him asking one question, why does it seem that no one else alive can correctly load a dishwasher?

Come and see what Jon Richardson can do with words when he has more than thirty seconds to work with. Or should that be “with which to work”?

Best known as team captain on ‘8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown’, Jon has been massively in demand for television and radio appearances including; ‘Have I Got News For You’ (BBC ONE), ‘Live At The Apollo’ (BBC ONE), ‘Channel 4’s Comedy Gala Live At The 02’ and most recently ‘Taskmaster’ (DAVE). He can also be heard hosting ‘The Warm Up’ show on talkSPORT with Matt Forde every Saturday.

Age guidance 14yrs+ (Show will contain adult humour and swearing)

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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2-4 Mar - First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Tempest

The Tempest at Blackpool Grand Theatre

Thursday 2 - 10.15am and 2pm
Friday 3 - 2pm and 7pm
Saturday 4 - 10.15am and 2pm

On a crazy island swirling with sounds, exiled Duke Prospero uses magic to create a home within the wilderness.

As his beloved daughter Miranda falls in love with a shipwrecked stranger from their homeland, she rebels against his power. Prospero must risk forgiving those who betrayed him, or lose her forever.

Fun, fantasy and sorcery collide in this gripping story of how love and reconciliation can conquer fear and control. This new production from the RSC is an ideal first experience of Shakespeare for anyone aged 8 and above. Using Shakespeare’s original language, this edited version lasts 90 minutes and includes a fully interactive introduction to the world of the play.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

3 March at 8pm

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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9-11 Mar - Anita and Me

Anita and Me at Blackpool Grand

9-11 March at 7.30pm, 2pm matinee on 9 and 11

Written by Meera Syal, Anita and Me has been adapted for the stage by the multi-award-winning Tanika Gupta.

This poignant coming-of-age tale follows Meena, a young girl growing up in the only Punjabi family in a 1970s Black Country mining village. Meena spends her days happily getting into scrapes with the other local children until one day the impossibly cool Anita enters her life.

Suddenly Meena knows exactly who she wants to be but is Anita all that she seems? Soon Meena’s world is turned upside down as she is caught between two very different cultures.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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Playreading

11 March at 1.30pm

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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11 Mar - Zero For The Young Dudes!

Zero For The Young Dudes!

11 March at 3pm and 6.30pm

Connections is the National Theatre’s nationwide youth theatre festival. Each year it offers a unique opportunity for youth theatres and school theatre groups to stage new plays written for young people by some of theatre’s most exciting playwrights, and to perform in leading theatres across the country.

This year we will be producing Zero for the Young Dudes by Alistair McDowell as our entry to the Connections festival.

The inmates at a bizarre summer camp are plotting a revolution. Or has it already happened?

Spending a day watching their schedule of exercise, lessons and meals, a long history of unrest and injustice lies hidden, and as the day wears on, a violent future looms large on the horizon.

Age suitability 14+ Tickets £6, 4 tickets for £20

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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12 Mar - Mr Bloom's Nursery Live

Mr Bloom's Nursery Live

12 March at 11am and 2pm

Bring your ‘tiddlers’ along and join Mr Bloom and the Veggies on their first ever live tour.

Mr Bloom and his Veggies are getting the Nursery ready for a very special occasion – a member of the Royal family is paying them visit!

Can you lend a hand and help them get the Allotment ready in time? They certainly hope so!

Featuring all of the much loved elements of the TV show, Mr Bloom (Ben Faulks) will be joined by all his gardening friends: Margaret, Joan, Colin, Raymond and Sebastian, the lovable Wee MacGregors, and not forgetting Mr Bloom’s trusty machine ‘The Compostarium’.

Come and sing along to all your favourite songs: ‘This Is My Allotment’, ‘Meet The Veggies, ‘The Compo Song’ and’ Night Night Veggies’.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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14 Mar - Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar at Blackpool Grand Theatre

14 March at 1pm and 6pm

Join young people from 9 schools across Wyre as they come together to tell Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s wonderful story of conspiracy, death and power struggles.

Julius Caesar is a fantastic celebration of the achievements of children and young people involved in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Learning and Performance Network, a long term programme where schools work with artists and practitioners from the RSC and The Grand.

Larkholme, Flakefleet, Red Marsh, Baines, St Johns, Charles Saer, Carters Charity, Shakespeare & St Aidan’s Schools

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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15-16 Mar - The MIND Project (Lytham Sixth)

The MIND Project (Lytham Sixth) at Blackpool Grand Theatre

15 & 16 March at 7pm

Presented by the Lytham Sixth Form College, level 3 Extended Diploma Performing Arts students.

The MIND PROJECT is a thought provoking exploration into the conditions that affect our cognitive processes. The themes are presented through both physical and vocal performances and are woven together with sound, light and music.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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19 Mar - Sunday Night at The Grand AGAIN!

Sunday Night at The Grand AGAIN!

19 March at 7.30pm

Join multi-talented Ray Quinn, star of TV’s X Factor and Dancing on Ice and local funny man Carl Schofield & friends for another evening of unforgettable entertainment.

In conjunction with the Lyndene Hotel, Blackpool and Tower Top Entertainments.

You’ll be taken through a journey of laughter with some of the North West’s funniest comedians, be swept of your feet by some astonishing vocalists and be entertained by an array of show stopping dancers!

Ray Quinn is coming to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre to headline a fantastic evening of variety entertainment in aid of The Not Forgotten Association a charity set up to support injured service men and women of all ages. He is joined by the Fylde coast’s own funny man Carl Schofield who himself served in the Faulklands War. Carl is now a regular performer on cruise liners as well as on the entertainment circuit in and around the Blackpool area. After the success of Sunday Night at the Grand, 2015 and Another Sunday Night at the Grand 2016 he has again joined forces with local entertainer Paul Swift to bring you another fantastic fundraiser that includes a selection of the most talented performers in the area!

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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21 Mar - Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures

Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures at Blackpool Grand Theatre

21 March at 7.30pm and 22 March at 2pm

Matthew Bourne is hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful Choreographer/ Director. He is the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production, a five-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical.

Matthew Bourne returns to his roots in Early Adventures, a programme of hit pieces that launched the career of ‘Britain’s favourite choreographer’ and saw the birth of the style, wit and sheer entertainment that his company New Adventures brought to Swan Lake, The Car Man, Edward Scissorhands and Sleeping Beauty. With designs by long-time collaborator, Lez Brotherston, Early Adventures forms part of the company’s 30th Anniversary celebrations.

Contains some adult humour. May not be suitable for under 12’s.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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Friends Coffee Morning

23 March at 10.30am

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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Theatre Heritage Tour

23 March at 11am

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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24 Mar - Menopause The Musical

Menopause The Musical at Blackpool Grand Theatre

24 March at 7.30pm

Starring Cheryl Fergison (EastEnders), Maureen Nolan (The Nolans), Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty) and Ruth Berkeley (Penny Dreadful), Menopause the Musical is heading out on another UK wide tour.

This hysterical show packed full of one-liners about night sweats, hot flushes and memory loss is backed by an instantly recognisable soundtrack of innuendo-laden versions of 60s, 70s and 80s pop classics.

An all-singing, all-dancing comedy set in a department store, where four women with seemingly nothing in common, meet by chance and make fun of their woeful lives experiencing “The Change”. They soon bond as they realise that the menopause is no longer “The Silent Passage”, but an unavoidable stage in every woman’s life.

The hysterical and uplifting Menopause The Musical will have you laughing, and singing, all the way home.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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26 Mar - Steve Steinman's ICONIC - The Show

Steve Steinman's ICONIC - The Show at Blackpool Grand Theatre

26 March at 7.30pm

The creative force behind the hugely successful Vampires Rock, Steve Steinman’s all new hit show delivers the best of the best sound tracks from some of the coolest and Iconic movies of all time.

Set in the future where movie theatres have all but disappeared a magical cinema still stands. Run by an old usher Benson, who does his best to entice people to buy a ticket for the midnight screening and give them a night they will never forget.

A cast of amazing singers, dancers, and musicians deliver some of the most recognisable music ever!

Hits from movie greats such as Kill Bill, Batman, Pulp Fiction, Purple Rain, Bond and Mad Max are featured including tracks from Queen, AC/DC, Tina Turner and Prince to name but a few.

All teamed up with an incredible stage set and fantastic special effects. It’s a show that will blow you away.

So go ahead Punk, Make Your Day!

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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29 Mar - Gary Clarke's COAL

Gary Clarke's COAL at Blackpool Grand Theatre

29 March at 7.30pm

“All of us owe the comparative decency to poor drudges underground, blackened to the eyes with their throats full of coal dust, driving their shovels forward with arms and belly muscles of steel.” George Orwell (1934)

Marking the 30th anniversary of the end of the 1984/5 British miners’ strike, award winning choreographer Gary Clarke proudly presents COAL, a riveting dance theatre show which takes an nostalgic look at the hard hitting realities of life at the coal face.

Strong, powerful and emotive, COAL explores the darker underbelly of the mining industry unearthing the true nature and body wrecking demands of a working class industry now almost forgotten.

Bringing together Clarke’s striking physical language performed by a company of 7 stunning professional dancers, a local community cast of women and a live brass band, COAL is an emotional, moving and ever-relevant exploration of community, solidarity and survival.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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30 Mar - Goldilocks & The Three Bears

Goldilocks & The Three Bears at Blackpool Grand Theatre

30 March at 2pm and 4pm

With sell-out performances and hugely successful CBeebies adaptations, including Ugly Duckling and Tortoise & the Hare, Northern Ballet’s Short Ballets for Small People are not to be missed.

Now the magic continues with a brand-new retelling of Goldilocks & the Three Bears.

Goldilocks is a mischievous little girl with hair as bright as gold. Always on the look-out for an adventure, one day her curiosity leads her to a house full of many surprises. With a family of friendly bears, a beautiful blue bird and bowls of delicious porridge, this ballet is just right!

Bringing this classic children’s story to life, Goldilocks & the Three Bears is the perfect opportunity for your little ones to enjoy live ballet, music and theatre for the first time.

This child friendly performance lasts approximately 40 minutes.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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31 Mar - Macca: The Concert

Macca: The Concert at Blackpool Grand Theatre

31 March at 7.30pm

In the first show of it’s kind to tour UK and European theatres, Macca: The Concert is a career-spanning musical biopic covering McCartney’s entire solo career from 1970 to 2016.

The first half of the show is a recreation of the acclaimed ‘Wings Over The World’ 1975 – 76 Concert Tour complete with authentic costumes, staging and production.

Starring West End leading man Emanuele Angeletti (Let It Be) as Paul McCartney, this is a celebration of the life and music of a legend…

The show includes all of McCartney’s solo hits, along with a selection of Beatles favourites. Featuring an acclaimed West End cast and using state of the art visual media projection throughout, this show is unrivalled within the current theatre circuit today.

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

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2017 Panto Announced - Tickets on Sale for Cinderella!

We can exclusively announce that The Grand’s Panto for 2017/18 is CINDERELLA and will run from 5 December 2017 to 7 January 2018!

Tickets are on sale NOW!

Prices and book tickets here or call the box office on 01253 290190 (and please mention you saw it here!)

Cinderella panto, 2017 Blackpool Grand Theatre

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See the Grand Theatre website here for everything else that's coming up in coming months

 

Customer Opinion


These are comments from visitors to this site about this listing. We do not necessarily agree with these comments

open quote Just a few words to say what a fantastic experience going to the ballet on Saturday (Swan Lake) was for my wife and I as first timers.

The production was 5 stars as was the venue and the staff who looked after us all though the event.

One thing is for sure it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and new experience, one which we will repeat.

We are so lucky to have such a jewel in the crown as The Grand Theatre in Blackpool.

Email received at 'Visit' from a first time ballet-goer
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22nd February 2017
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Congratulations to Lottie Lawless, age 8, from St John’s Catholic Primary School for winning The Royal Shakespeare Company Julius Caesar poster competition!

 

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22nd February 2017
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Preparation for Mark Murphy's V-TOL takes place in purpose built aerial studio. #ShareTheLove for contemporary dance with our Under 26's £12.50 ticket! Mark Murphy's Out of this World | The Blackpool Grand Theatre | Tuesday 9 May Book Tickets: www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/mark-murphys-world/

 

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21st February 2017
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We want to #ShareTheLove so SHARE this post and we'll pick someone to WIN a PRIVATE BOX to the Olivier Award's 2016 Best New Comedy - Nell Gwynn Not only do you win the 'Directors box', you'll also win a Limited Edition Nell Gwynn hand fan and chocolate goodies! Don't forget to tag who you'd take with you! ★★★★★ 'a bawdy, witty, engaging romp', The Times ★★★★★ 'This gloriously funny and touching bio-drama...a right royal treat', The Telegraph ★★★★★ 'Bawdy and brilliant West End transfer of Jessica Swale's vivacious comedy', The Stage Competition closes 23 Feb, 5pm Check out the show page: https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/nell-gwynn/

 

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20th February 2017
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Dancing royalty Matthew Bourne to pay first visit to Blackpool to #ShareTheLove with a programme of hit pieces that launched the career of ‘Britain’s favourite choreographer’. Read More: www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/whats-on/arts/dancing-royalty-to-pay-first-visit-1-8396430

 

Blackpool is well known among dancers as the place to go.

 

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20th February 2017
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Sunday Night at The Grand AGAIN! Join multi-talented Ray Quinn, star of TV’s X Factor and Dancing on Ice and local funny man Carl Schofield & friends for another evening of unforgettable entertainment.

 

You’ll be taken through a journey of laughter with some of the North West’s funniest comedians, be swept of your feet by some astonishing vocalists and be entertained by an array of show stopping dancers!

 

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15th February 2017
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Anita And Me paints a comic, compassionate and colourful portrait of village life in the era of flares, power cuts, glam rock, decimalisation and Ted Heath. Anita & Me | Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 March 2017 Book Tickets: www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/anita-and-me/

 

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14th February 2017
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COMPETITION CLOSED Tell us which show you are most excited about to be in with a chance to WIN a pair of tickets to see it live AND our #ShareTheLove package including a Starbucks gift card, chocolate and your very own Grand Theatre mug! Don't forget to tag who you would take with you! Pick up a brochure from our Box Office or Starbucks Houndshill now! Closing date: 17 Feb at 5pm.

 

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13th February 2017
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This February the Grand Theatre, Blackpool unveils their new #ShareTheLove drive aiming to encourage more locals to fall in love with the arts and their beautiful local theatre. During February (the month of LOVE!) Blackpool’s Grand will be offering great deals, time-limited offers, competitions including private boxes for two with champagne or chocolates for your loved ones or maybe show the love to your children with the chance for them to meet one of their favourite TV Characters. Find out What's On here: https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/events/

 

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11th February 2017
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Get tickets to Macca: The Concert now for just £25! Experience the drama of Live and Let Die, the pathos of No More Lonely Nights and the nostalgia of Band on the Run alongside many, many more… Macca: The Concert | Friday 31 March Book Tickets: www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/macca-the-concert/

 

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22nd February 2017
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'How Deep Is Your Love' for The Bee Gees? Better break out your white bell bottoms and #ShareTheLove with everyone! youtube.com/watch?v=nOrsMv…

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22nd February 2017
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SHARE our #ShareTheLove Facebook post and you could win these goodies plus a PRIVATE BOX to see Best New Comedy - N… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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22nd February 2017
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@altblackpool @Grand_Theatre we had a great time,can't wait to see Iconic on the 26th March,another show by Steve Steinman,will be great xxx

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22nd February 2017
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There are lots of events going on in #Blackpool this year! Including at the @Grand_Theatre! ow.ly/iSfv3091mw2 pic.twitter.com/dVIUiI2ZUc

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22nd February 2017
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Congratulations to Lottie Lawless, age 8, from St John’s Catholic Primary School for winning @TheRSC Julius Caesar… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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22nd February 2017
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Gary Clarke wants to #ShareTheLove with @COALTour, a riveting show which expresses life underground #DanceLinkTicket youtube.com/watch?v=I2MFuH…

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22nd February 2017
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Our costume designer for #StrictlyMurder, @OppOfficial, getting busy with the sewing machine! pic.twitter.com/XvERz0ndiJ

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22nd February 2017
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Looking forward to working with @TCTcompany again, this time in the production of 'Anita and Me' @Grand_Theatretwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

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Sneak preview of part of the OUT OF THIS WORLD score by Nathaniel Reed @OOTW_Tour soundcloud.com/user-880395646…

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22nd February 2017
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A queue is starting to form for @BuddyTheMusical - it's not too late to get down to @Grand_Theatre for our Matinee… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

 
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