From variety, musicals and comedy giants to Shakespeare, drama and dance, The Grand Theatre caters for every age, pocket and personality
Grand Theatre Heritage Tours
Monday 2 July at 2pm
Wednesday 8 August at 11am
Saturday 15 September at 11am
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 heritage history.
Join us for one of our Heritage Theatre Tours 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 and explore the warren of staircases that lead to the stars, dressing rooms and beyond.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS – Call the Box Office on 01253 290 190 (please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!) or visit the website
Friends of The Grand Coffee Morning
Thursday mornings at 10.30am – 19 July, 16 August, 20 September, 18 October
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.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS – Call the Box Office on 01253 290 190 (please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!) or visit the website
Ruby Wax ‘FRAZZLED’ – A Guide to Mindfulness
Thursday 5 July at 7.30pm
Drop dead gorgeous, sassy and smart, Ruby Wax brings her new one-woman show to the stage. Based on her number one best seller, “A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled.” She’s been honoured with the title of poster girl for mental illness; once crazy now less so, she gives a tour of the mind – how to use it, not lose it. Ruby Wax if you don’t know is a much loved, U.S. born comedy-actor-writer of incredibly successful books and TV shows including script editor of “Absolutely Fabulous” and is a mental health campaigner.
This event is your passport to saner living and is a follow up to her previous sell out show and book, “Sane New World.”
By the way, she graduated from Oxford with a Masters in Mindfulness–based Cognitive Therapy (at a late stage) three years ago so she should know her stuff.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS – Call the Box Office on 01253 290 190 (please mention you saw it here!) or visit the website
The Lancashire Hotpots: Sing-a-longa Knees Up Jamboree
Saturday 7 July at 7.30pm
Are you ready for a sing-a-longa party? The Lancashire Hotpots are back with a brand new show and they want YOU singing along. They’ll be raising the roof with all the Hotpot classics you know and love: Chippy Tea, I Fear Ikea and Egg, Sausage Chips & Beans. You’ll also be able to join in with the hilarious new songs from their latest ‘sing-a-longa’ album. So let your hair down and have a knees up round the ol’ johanna with the unmistakable atmosphere and laughs of a Lancashire Hotpots show.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS – Call the Box Office on 01253 290 190 (please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!) or visit the website
Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
Friday 6 July, 3 August, 7 September, 5 October 2018 at 8pm
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!
Jon Richardson: Old Man
Friday 13 July at 8pm
LAST CHANCE to see the British Comedy Award nominee and star of Live At The Apollo and 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Jon Richardson, as he is completing 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).
Age Guidance: 14+ (Contains swearing and adult content)
Saturdays at 1.30pm – 14 July, 11 August, 8 September, 13 October
Our Grand Theatre Play Reading Group is an excellent way to get involved with the theatre, meet new people and while away your time reading and discussing plays!
Perfect for anyone who relishes reading and engaging in discussion about great titles from some of the world’s leading play writes.
No experience of Play Reading is necessary and you don’t even have to join in if you don’t wish. This is an informal and friendly group of people sharing like-minded interests, and the group have read everything from Greek tragedies and Shakespeare, to Oscar Wilde and J. B. Priestly.
Jennifer Smethurst, a qualified speech and drama tutor, guides participants through the readings and raises any interesting issues for discussion. So if you fancy a new and enjoyable way to spend your afternoon, why not pop along to our Grand Theatre Play Reading Group every second Saturday of the month.
From 17 July to 8 September – shows at 7.30pm
Plus matinees at 2pm on Thurs & Sat, 3pm on Sun. No shows on Monday
Blackpool’s Grand Theatre is delighted to announce its BIG Summer Show for 2018. Working in partnership with Producer Stuart Littlewood of HANDSHAKE they will present the original tribute from London’s West End ABBA MANIA, for 8-weeks this summer in Blackpool.
It’s just over 40 years since they won Eurovision and now it’s your chance to thank ABBA for the music!
ABBA MANIA is accepted as the world’s number one touring tribute production. Featuring a special concert presentation, which celebrates the music in a respectful and enjoyable way, reviving special memories of when the band ruled the airwaves.
The show brings fans old and new a night not to be missed. If you’re looking for an excuse to party, reminisce or simply be entertained by the best music ever, then ABBA MANIA is for you!
So, dig out those platforms, dust down those flares, join in and enjoy all of your favourites including: Mamma Mia, Voulez Vous, Dancing Queen, Winner Takes It All, Super Trouper and many more.
Walk Like a Man
Monday 23 & 30 July at 7.30pm
Monday 6, 13, 20 and 27 August at 7.30pm
Walk Like A Man takes you back in time on a musical journey through the incredible career of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, now immortalised in the multi-award winning show Jersey Boys, which has been packing theatres worldwide since it’s debut in 2005.
Valli’s unmistakable voice dominated the airwaves for more than two decades with classics such as Sherry, Let’s Hang On, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, My Eyes Adored You, December 63 (Oh What A Night), Bye Bye Baby, Who Loves You and many, many more.
With a repertoire which needs no introduction, Walk Like A Man combines infectious personalities, amazing vocals, slick harmonies and even slicker dance moves to deliver a show full of energy and nostalgia which will leave you wanting more! Don’t miss the ultimate celebration of one of the world’s greatest Rock & Roll bands!
Be My Baby
Friday 17 August at 8pm
Saturday 18 August at 3 and 8pm
Be My Baby is a refreshing treat. It is also a harsh reminder of what the stigma was like to be an unmarried mum-to-be in the sixties and the unthinkable agony that many women went through when they were forced to give their babies up for adoption. This play is a must-see!
Featuring an all-female cast, this beautifully touching and exceptionally poignant play entertains, consoles and inspires.
It’s 1964 but the sixties aren’t swinging for Mary Adams: 19-years-old, unmarried and pregnant. She is sent by her mother, who is keeping up appearances, in secrecy and shame to St. Saviours, a Church of England mother-and-baby home run by a formidable Matron.
Mary is set to work in the laundry and shares a room with the tough-talking Queenie. Alongside vulnerable Norma and lovable Dolores, the girls’ youthful effervescence keeps breaking through as they bond over a mutual love of girl-group records. When Mary finds she is expected to give up her child for adoption, she begins a desperate fight.
With scenes interlaced with well-known songs from the female icons of the sixties, such as The Ronettes and Dusty Springfield, Be My Baby has a nostalgic feel about it. From the young teens in the audience to those who had grown up in the 60s, the play manages to engage on all levels as they connect with the action onstage.
Brought to you by Willow Theatre Productions in association with Cou-Cou Theatre Productions. Willow Theatre Productions is a new theatre company that’s focus is on creating intimate, powerful and thought-provoking pieces. The company is dedicated to putting women’s stories at the forefront, using works by female playwrights with strong female protagonists.
The Magic of Motown
Sunday 26 August at 7.30pm
Celebrating the sound of a generation – The Magic of Motown returns to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre.
Music fans are invited to the biggest party of the year as the unstoppable Magic of Motown show steams into town! Seen by over a million people nationwide, it’s no surprise that the show is one of the biggest success stories in British theatre history, even performing for Her Majesty the Queen, as special guests at the Royal Variety Performance.
The legend of the great record label lives on, live on stage: five-star performances revive more than 40 back-to-back massive Motown classics with all the glittering costume changes, dazzling dance moves and superb musicianship synonymous with the label in this explosive concert experience.
Celebrate the sound of a generation as the timeless music from artists such as; Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Martha Reeves, Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson and more, are sensationally recreated for you by an exceptionally talented cast and band.
This breath-taking concert spectacular takes you on a musical journey through all of your favourite songs, including: Ain’t No Mountain, Signed Sealed Delivered, Grapevine, Get Ready, Dancing In The Streets, My Girl, Where Did Our Love Go, My Guy, Baby Love, Blame It On The Boogie, Uptight, Endless Love, My Cherie Amor, All Night Long, Heatwave and many, many more.
Weds 12 to Sat 15 September, shows at 7.30 and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm
ENSEMBLE Theatre Presents OLIVER!
Consistently voted everyone’s favourite musical OLIVER! with its timeless songs, Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself & As Long As He Needs Me, is a justifiable ‘All Time Classic’.
Oliver tries to escape hardship and the dangers of Victorian London, hoping he’ll find a family home, one where he can be truly loved.
A multi award winning movie and WEST END smash hit, featuring some of the best characters ever written, from Fagin to the Artful Dodger – it’s a musical for the whole family, to pull at your heartstrings and bring on the widest of smiles.
Pasadena Roof Orchestra – Puttin’ On The Ritz
Sunday 16 September at 7pm
Since 1969 the Pasadena Roof Orchestra has been faithfully re-creating the glories of popular music from the 1920’s and 1930’s.
The fun-packed show features timeless classics from the great American song book – those wonderful songs that miraculously lifted people’s spirits during the depression era, and which made household names of singers such as Bing Crosby, Al Bowlly, and Fred Astaire. The musicians master the arrangements and sound of the fabled American orchestras such as Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson, whilst also paying tribute to the great British dance Bands like Ray Noble or Ambrose.
Presenting the show, and putting on the top hat white tie and tails, is the suave singer and band leader Duncan Galloway. So pack up your troubles, come on get happy, and experience an evening of superlative live music, with more than a dash of wit and humour.
Boy Blue presents Blak Whyte Gray
Thursday 20 September at 7.30pm
Boy Blue presents Blak Whyte Gray a personal response by Boy Blue’s founders to their experiences and observations of the world.
The time is right to ask questions, to break free from a system that isn’t working, to emerge on the other side to an awakening – a return to roots, a celebration of culture.
Fierce and affecting, this galvanising hip-hop dance performance reflects themes of identity, oppression and transcendence. Blak Whyte Gray is set to the resonating sounds of a multi-layered score. The powerful choreography and staging make for an image-rich production with political bite.
After its premiere in 2017, the triple bill earned an Olivier nomination for Best New Dance Production.
This Is The Greatest Show
Saturday 22 September at 7.30pm
This is the Greatest Show is inspired by the imagination of PT Barnum.
Join our cast of West End Singers and LIVE band as we take you on a journey through music from “The Greatest Showman” “Moulin Rouge” “Barnum” and many others.
A memorable night that will have you singing along and dancing in the aisles. This IS the greatest show – not to be missed!
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Tuesday 25 to Saturday 29 September 2018, Evenings 7:30pm, Matinees (Thu and Sat) 2pm
To celebrate 50 years one of the world’s favourite films, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the musical of the same name will be coming to Blackpool and will have audiences of all ages flying high with its mixture of madness, intrigue and exuberance.
Brought to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre by Blackpool & Fylde Light Opera Company who have had huge success with Grease, Legally Blonde, Hairspray and Sister Act and have received incredible reviews and awards for their productions of some of the world’s best musicals. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will take you on a fantastic musical adventure with an out-of-this-world car that flies through the air and sails the seas.
Based on the beloved 1968 film versionof Ian Fleming’s children’s book, and featuring an unforgettable score by the Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is one family-friendly blockbuster that audiences will find “Truly Scrumptious.”
Can the loveable but whacky inventor, Potts, along with his two children and the gorgeous Truly Scrumptious outwit the bombastic Baron Bomburst who has decreed that all children be banished from his kingdom? What happens when the children are caught and imprisoned with the other youngsters by the evil Child Catcher? Will it all end happily-ever-after? Well, of course it will!
Filled with amazing stage spectacle and unforgettable songs, including the Academy Award-nominated title song, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang this is a high-flying, fun-filled adventure for the entire family.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a 1968 British musical adventure fantasy film, directed by Ken Hughes and written by Roald Dahl and Hughes, loosely based on Ian Fleming’s 1964 novel Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car.
The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli, the regular co-producer of the James Bond series of films. John Stears
Dave Spikey In Juggling on a Motorbike
Thursday 4 October at 7.30pm
Dave Spikey, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his comedy career with the tour – JUGGLING ON A MOTORBIKE.
This will see the Lancashire based comic look back on his remarkable life and incredible journey from working class lad to Chief Biomedical Scientist to much loved comedy performer and writer via Phoenix Nights, Eight out of Ten Cats, Bullseye, Dead Man Weds, Magnolia, The Royal Variety Show, Parkinson and many more.
Dave Spikey had been working in the NHS for 19 years as a Biomedical Scientist when in 1988 someone uttered the immortal words, “You’re really funny, you should be a comedian” and for some reason, he took them seriously!!
Only a few short months later he was crowned the winner of the national talent show “Stairway to the Stars”. Larry Grayson, one of the judges, told him that it was a close run thing on the night but what clinched the award for Dave was his routine about a juggler on a motorbike. Fast forward 13 years (Is that possible?) to Friday 13th October 2000 , the day Dave switched off his microscope for good and found himself, the following Monday, sitting on rain swept local car park dressed as a giant berry!!
So now in 2018 he celebrates the 30th anniversary of his amazing comedy career. In this show he will look back on his remarkable life and his incredible journey from working class lad to Chief Biomedical Scientist to much loved comedy performer and writer via Phoenix Nights, Eight out of Ten Cats, Bullseye, Dead Man Weds, Magnolia, The Royal Variety Show, Parkinson and many more. He often reflects that maybe none of this would have happened and he might still be looking down his microscope today if it wasn’t for the juggler on the motorbike.
Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October, shows at 10am and 1pm
The Teletubbies first ever theatre show created especially for your little ones is here!
Join the Teletubbies, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po in a show full of love and laughter as they explore the magical world of Teletubbyland.
Look out for the Tubby Phone, Noo-noo and the Sun Baby in a fun, bright and safe world which captures young children’s imaginations and encourages them to explore the world around them.
Join in and enjoy beloved features from the TV series along with brand new songs.
My Mother Said I Never Should
Tuesday 9 to Saturday 13th October, shows at 2 and 7.30pm
The London Classic Theatre presents Charlotte Keatley’s award-winning family drama, My Mother Said I Never Should.
Set in Manchester, Oldham and London, My Mother Said I Never Should is a poignant, bittersweet story about love, jealousy and the price of freedom.
Using a kaleidoscopic time structure, Charlotte Keatley examines the lives of four women through the immense social changes of the twentieth century. The play focuses on four generations of one family as they confront the most significant moments of their lives.
In 1940, Doris, a former teacher, encourages her nine-year-old daughter, Margaret, to mind her manners and practice the piano. In 1969, Margaret’s relationship with her own daughter is strained, as art student Jackie experiments with her new found sexual freedom. When Jackie becomes pregnant at 18 and has baby Rosie, a decision is made that will affect all their lives irrevocably.
Written in 1985 and first staged at the Contact Theatre, Manchester, Charlotte Keatley’s award-winning play is the most commonly performed work by a female playwright worldwide. My Mother Said I Never Should has been translated into 22 languages and has earned Keatley the George Devine Award, as well as the Manchester Evening News Award for Best New Play. In 1990, Keatley was also nominated for an Olivier Award as Most Promising Newcomer.
‘In its revelation of mother-daughter emotions over the years, the play is without rivals. It is a classic.’ The Times
A Country Night in Nashville
Sunday 14 October at 7.30pm
A Country Night In Nashville recreates the scene of a buzzing Honky Tonk in downtown Nashville, perfectly capturing the energy and atmosphere of an evening in the home of country music.
Prepare to be transported on a musical journey through the history of Country, featuring songs from its biggest stars both past and present. Hits from Johnny Cash to Alan Jackson, Dolly to the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson to Little Big Town, are showcased by the amazing vocals of Dominic Halpin, Shelly Quarmby and their fabulous backing band, the Hurricanes.
With songs including Ring Of Fire, Crazy, Follow Your Arrow, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere, Need you Now, 9 to 5, and The Gambler to name just a few, this incredible celebration of country music is a night not to be missed.
Dad’s Army Radio Hour
Friday 19 and Saturday 20 October at 7.30 and 2.30pm
Based on the classic BBC sitcom, Dad’s Army, by Jimmy Perry and David Croft.
Two actors play 25 characters in this brilliant staging of classic radio scripts based on favourite episodes from the original TV series. Celebrating 50 years of Perry and Croft’s quintessential sitcom, which won the Best One-Liner accolade in a poll of comedians conducted earlier this year by Gold, with the immortal words “Don’t tell him, Pike”.
Double Fringe First Award winner David Benson (star of Think No Evil Of Us: My Life With Kenneth Williams and Boris: World King) and Jack Lane (Wisdom Of A Fool) present a selection of classic radio episodes featuring favourite lines, cherished characters and great feats of vocal impersonation!
Sing-a-Long-a Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sunday 28 October at 7.30pm
From the producers of the smash hit Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music comes Sing-a-long-a Rocky Horror Picture Show!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the Campest Cult Classic of all time and now you can enjoy it like never before. Now with Sing-a-long-a Rocky Horror, you get on-screen lyrics and all the favourite sing-a-long-a features, and it’s never been so much fun. Your live host will lead you through a choral warm-up, judge the fancy dress competition and award prizes but it is YOU, the audience, who are the stars as you howl the night away!
Made in 1975 with Tim Curry as Frank ‘n’ Furter, Susan Sarandon as Janet, Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff and Meatloaf as Eddie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the craziest, most action-packed, romantic, scary Transylvanian party of all time.
It’s packed full of terrific numbers including ‘The Timewarp’, ‘Sweet Transvestite’, ‘There’s a Light’, ‘I’m Going Home’, ‘Whatever Happened To Saturday Night?’ and ‘Science Fiction Double Feature’.
Now at long last The Rocky Horror Picture Show gets what it’s been SCREAMING for – the full Sing-a-long-a treatment that you love so well. If you’ve done The Time Warp before, you’ll never have done it quite like this!
The evening begins with your host leading a vocal warm-up before they show you how to use your free interactive props bag. Fancy dress is not obligatory but highly recommended!
Please note that this is a screening of the iconic movie and not a live stage show! Contains scenes of a sexual nature and strong language (Age Guidance 15+yrs)
You Win Again
Monday 29 October at 7.30pm
Direct from London’s West End, You Win Again – Celebrating The Music of The Bee Gees.
Prepare to experience the distinct sound of one the greatest bands to have ever graced the stage in this unforgettable concert spectacular. Immerse yourself in the brothers’ music through the sixties, seventies and eighties – including hits they wrote for artists such as Celine Dion, Diana Ross and Dolly Parton.
Join us for this breath-taking concert spectacular, taking 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!
This fabulously authentic production ensures the Gibb brothers’ incredible legacy of classic hit songs is well and truly stayin’ alive. This is a tribute show and is no way affiliated with any original artists/estates/management companies or similar shows.
Brendan Cole – All Night Long
Tuesday 30 October at 7.30pm
Brendan Cole takes to the stage to wow audiences with his latest spectacular production, All Night Long.
For his 10th Anniversary tour, Brendan Cole is joined by his sensational cast of guest dancers, captivating leading lady and superbly talented 14-piece band and singers, to whip up an extravagant mix of Latin fever and ballroom magic. From tantalising Tango to fiery Paso Doble, elegant Foxtrot to breath-taking Waltz – and with a few surprises in store – this is no ordinary dance show.
Live music, stunning special effects and Brendan Cole’s own dazzling choreography and charm make this an unforgettable night; join us for the party! This 2 hour stage production has it all…
Maximum Rhythm and Blues
Wednesday 31 October at 7.30pm
Join us for Maximum Rhythm and Blues with the legendary Manfreds and Georgie Fame for a fabulous evening of Rhythm and Blues nostalgia, and some of the greatest hits ever written!
The Manfreds with an all-star line-up of original members Paul Jones, Mike D’Abo, Tom McGuinness and Mike Hugg with Rob Townsend, Marcus Cliffe and Simon Currie will be recreating many of their greatest hits both as part of Manfred Mann and as successful individual artists.
With his much loved blend of Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, Georgie Fame has consistently worked in the highest musical circles and has become an icon of the British music scene.
Since Manfred Mann formed in 1962, they have firmly secured their place in the history books of British popular and R&B music. Understandable considering the number of top ten hits they have had throughout the world.
Featuring all their greatest hits including; 5-4-3-2-1, Do Wah Diddy, The Mighty Quinn, Pretty Flamingo, Fox On The Run, Handbags& Gladrags, Yeh Yeh, Get Away, The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde and many more! An all-star line up with the hits to match!
How can you help The Grand?
Join the ‘#PlayYourPart’ campaign and think about supporting the theatre with a donation or by leaving a legacy. Any gifts we receive will help introduce, encourage and develop children in the arts and allow them to express, explore and develop their natural talents.
There are lots of ways to make a difference:
– Come to the theatre! The more people who buy tickets and see shows, the more profitable we become. The more profit that we make the better we can be. Simple!
– Make a one-off donation at the website
– Set up a regular donation, you could look at the Charity Aid Foundation (CAF)’s Long-Term Giving. They offer tailored philanthropy services, knowledge and expertise, to help you fulfil your charitable ambitions. They work with over 2,000 high net worth individuals in a variety of ways, from providing valuable administration of their charitable giving through to expert advice on a long term giving strategy.
– Donate when you shop online with easyfundraising. Shop for products from thousands of leading online retailers; use their price comparison tool to ensure you get the best price and even save money by using the exclusive offers and deals available. A percentage of everyday and annual purchases you make (like Travelodge, Thomas Cook, M&S, John Lewis, Aviva, AA, RAC, Sainsbury’s ASDA, Tesco and Ocado) will be donated to charity. easyfundraising have over 3,000 shops and sites that give them a commission for your purchase. They then turn that into a donation and give it to the Grand Theatre. Easy!
– Search online with Everyclick.com – a new UK search engine which donates 50% of its gross revenue to charity. Just use it instead of Google to search online and clicking on one of the results. Its founders hope to pass on to charity some of the £3.9 billion of global web search revenues that are predicted to be generated this year. Just select The Grand as your chosen charity.
– Charity credit cards and energy supplies – ask your energy suppliers or credit card companies if you can donate or if they donate on your behalf, like charitably donating your Cashback offer.
So, please help us and ‘#PlayYourPart’ to help us make Blackpool an even better place to live, work and learn.
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.
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 is 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.
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.
120 Glorious Years!
The Grade II* listed Grand Theatre celebrated its 120th Birthday on Wednesday 23 July 2014. 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!
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 Theatre 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 Theatre 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.
You can find out more about the history of this amazing building here
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