Here at Visit Fylde Coast we weren’t able to make the premiere of Around the World in 80’s Days at the Grand Theatre when it opened. Assuming you missed it too, here’s their video from a glittering evening!
As it’s the first in-house production they’ve embarked on, we certainly didn’t want to miss the show!
We’d had the invite – and never had one like it before – when our very own world floated out of a big white box… And do you know, it was my birthday the day after, so I spent a good while wondering how the marketing team at The Grand knew… duh! And, my ‘world’ stayed inflated a lot longer than my birthday balloon did too!
Off to the see the Show!
So we’re all psyched up and ready for a great afternoon out on a bit of a grey Thursday afternoon.
Let’s get it over with, we’re not professional theatre critics here at Visit Fylde Coast. So if you’re expecting a luvvy-duvvy review about the technicalities of how the show was made you’re going to be disappointed. In common with all the other 1000’s of articles that we’ve written about the A-Z of this amazing place, our piece will be written as it was. So hold on to your seats and enjoy the show!
As it’s the middle of the school holidays, it’s great to see Blackpool busy and full of families. Even after all these years I still get a fizzing feeling when I drive along the prom. So to be jollying off to the theatre (rather than plodding to a meeting) is a very unusual treat in itself.
A Beautiful Building
It doesn’t matter how many times I go to The Grand I always look up into the ceiling and marvel at what a beautiful building it is. I’d been at a meeting there, not many weeks before at the crack of dawn on a Friday.
As any self respecting publisher should, my first job is always to take some photos of the surroundings and post them on social media. Oh the wonders of modern technology!
When was the last time that you went to The Grand?
Or any of the other Blackpool shows for that matter? Don’t take it all for granted. I come from a place without all the seaside razzmatazz that many people take for granted here on the Fylde Coast. Where events happened once every blue-moon, not every weekend. People who live on the Fylde Coast are so lucky to have so many things to do all the time!
Around the World in 80’s Days
And onto the show. As it was an afternoon performance I wouldn’t say the place was packed out, but reasonably full, and certainly an appreciative audience. I had to hang onto my seat when the music started, especially as the 80’s is just my era! Curtain lifted to ‘Eye of the Tiger’ which set me off, for the first half of entertainment.
Small kids and adults of all ages made up the audience and everyone really enjoyed it. How could you not. The production is really well done – sound and lighting are spot on throughout.
I find it difficult to just sit a watch like a normal person would (I know, I’m not normal!) So I was paying attention to the costumes, the sets and how the actors were managing to remember all of the lines and choreography, sing and dance and not break into a sweat! Seriously, it’s all so well done. You could see that they all know how to dance, how to act and how to sing.
Before we knew where we were they’d sung and danced their way through the 80’s to Calcutta, the house lights were on, the fire curtain was in place and it was the end of act 1.
The show is played out with a cast of six amazing actors. They’ve got halfway around the world and act two sees Phil Fogg bumble his way to the end of the journey, fall in love, defeat the baddie and get the girl.
Pretty classic stuff for a feel-good panto-esque performance. But it’s well played out and really cleverly done. Passaporte delivers his French accent in a way that other 80’s TV classic ‘Allo ‘Allo would have been proud of. Costumes change and so do the sets.
One thing that did make me titter to myself was the appearance of a stuffed seagull in the second half. Anyone who lives on the Fylde Coast knows that seagulls create as much division between lovers and the haters as Brexit does. So first off it amused me that our favourite local bird was included. Secondly I thought about my friend Colin who works at The Grand and is always telling me to ‘get rid of that blasted seagull’ from Visit Fylde Coast!
There’s some audience participation, hand clapping and yes, some singing along. It’s hard not to when you know all the words!
Around the World in 80’s Days ends with ‘Come on Eileen’ which was the first record I ever bought at the tender age of about 11…. (‘records’ were those round black things with a hole in the middle 🙂 ).
Back from my journey Around the World in 80’s Days
After a great final sing-song we all tipped out of the dark theatre and into the light – and by now the sun had even come out. A perfect end to a great, uplifting show and a lovely afternoon out.
Highly recommended. Go and see it! If you’re as long in the tooth as I am, in a modern way it’s reminiscent of the summer season shows that used to run for weeks and weeks back in the day. If you want to be amused, entertained and uplifted, it’s the perfect show to see this summer!
While you’re here…
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