From variety, musicals and comedy giants to Shakespeare, ballet, drama and dance, this venue caters for every age, pocket and personality. Find out what’s on next at Blackpool Grand Theatre.
Reduced Price Public Transport when you Visit The Grand
Blackpool’s Grand Theatre welcomes over 130,000 people a year through its doors. Over 20% of these theatre-goers use public transport. So Blackpool Grand have formed a working partnership with Blackpool Transport to encourage even more theatre goers to travel on local public transport.
Adults can travel to and from the theatre for just £3 and children at £1, saving over 40%.
The travel ticket is simple to add on to theatre tickets when booking your show. In addition, the theatre offers a dedicated webpage where you can order weekly and monthly travel tickets direct to your phone App.
Take advantage of this new, highly-discounted return travel ticket (for adults and children) giving easy access and reduced cost.Using public transport has huge benefits to the community, both economic and health wise, and helps to reduce local road congestion.
19 to 23 February at 7.30pm, plus 2pm on Weds/Sat
Simon Fielder and Belgrade Theatre Coventry presents the World Premiere of a brand new British farce, Octopus Soup. A razor-sharp new comedy with Nick Hancock, star of West End hit An Evening with Gary Lineker and host of iconic TV shows, Room 101 and They Think It’s All Over.
Meet Seymour, the safest man in Britain. An insurance consultant who wears a belt and braces (and another belt, just to be sure). He’s in last chance saloon, and everything rests on this one important conference call. What could possibly go wrong? Enter Marvin, a bungling burglar with bad knees… With Seymour’s highly neurotic actress wife Gloria awaiting news on a star TV role, the burglar’s psychopathic crime boss around the corner, and a share of the £30 billion insurance market at stake, will our heroes and their octopus get out alive?
BOOK YOUR TICKETS – Call the Box Office on 01253 290 190 (please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!) or visit the website
RSC Romeo and Juliet
18 to 26 February at 7.30pm, plus shows at 1.30pm on Weds, Thurs, Sat
Shakespeare’s most famous story of love at first sight explodes with intense passion in this contemporary production with heartbreaking consequences – RSC Romeo and Juliet.
What if your first true love was someone you’d been told to hate? Ripped apart by the bitter divisions of their parents, two young people will risk everything to be together.
The most famous story of love at first sight explodes with intense passion and an irresistible desire for change. Will this spark a revolution, or will division continue to tear through generations?
BOOK YOUR TICKETS – Call the Box Office on 01253 290 190 (please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!) or visit the website
SALT By Dawn King
Fri 22 & Sat 23 February, shows at 7 and 3pm
The Grand Young Company and NT Connections19, in association with The Electric Sunshine Project presents SALT by Dawn King.
Life is never plain sailing, but when a new government initiative comes into place offering young people the chance to train and learn skills overseas, droves of teens jump at the chance to secure their future. Once on board the transport ship, the promises of the glossy advert seem a far cry from what lies ahead. SALT is a play about generations, choices and hope.
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 1 March, 5 April, 3 May at 8pm
Treat yourself to a laugh at the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club with four top pro comedians to make you LOL!
See comedians off the telly from all the major panel shows and roadshows plus the best of the rest. Previously Jason Manford, John Bishop and Sarah Millican were booked before they hit the big time. So come and see more brilliant comedians! The Grand Theatre reserves the right to change the line-up at any time.
The Lady Vanishes
4 to 9 March at 7.30pm, plus shows at 2.30pm on Weds and Sat
Bill Kenwright presents The Lady Vanishes, inspired by the Hitchcock classic, the latest instalment in the classic thriller series. A new adaptation of the much-loved film – directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave.
Socialite Iris is travelling home to England on the train when an accident introduces her to the mild-mannered Miss. Froy. After her travelling companion suddenly disappears, Iris is perplexed to find that all the other passengers deny ever having seen her. With the help of urbane musician Max she turns detective and together they become drawn into a complex web of European intrigue as they try to solve the mystery of why the lady vanished.
The Diary of Anne Frank
Thurs 7 to Sat 9 March, shows at 7pm/2pm matinee on Saturday
Cou-Cou Theatre Productions is proud to present The Diary of Anne Frank, dramatised by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.
Few more poignant true stories emerged from World War II than the diary of young Anne Frank. Published long afterwards by her father, the only family survivor, it records the minutiae of twenty-five months that two Jewish families spent in hiding from the Gestapo in an Amsterdam warehouse attic. The constant secrecy, growing hunger and friction of living in such cramped conditions could not dull Anne’s vibrant personality or her passion for living.
Anne Frank famously wrote ”I want to go on living even after my death.” Her story has inspired so many and we want to continue sharing it with the world, so our future generation can remember and continue to be inspired.
Saturday 9 March, 13 April, 11 May at 1.30pm
The 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 playwrites.
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.
Sunday Night at The Grand
Sunday 10 March at 7.30pm
Paul Swift and Carl Schofield presents Sunday Night at the Grand. An 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 entertained by an array of show stopping dancers!
11 to 16 March at 7.30pm, plus shows at 2.30pm on Weds and Sat
Jodie Prenger leads the cast in this groundbreaking comedy classic – Abigail’s Party!
Beverly and husband Laurence are throwing a party for their newlywed neighbours, Tony and Angela. Joining them is highly strung Susan who’s been banished from the party of her teenage daughter Abigail. Welcome to 1970’s suburbia and its heady mix of free-flowing cocktails, classic disco and cheese and pineapple sticks. As tensions rise and tempers flare the sheen of respectability is town away by the warring couples with hilarious and potentially disastrous consequences.
125 Celebration Open Day Tour
20 March, 4 April, 6 Mayat 11am, 12 and 1pm
125 years ago, local businessman Thomas Sergenson secured the world’s leading theatre architect, Frank Matcham, to design the magnificent jewel we know today. Now you can join us for our special 125 Celebration Open Day.
Blackpool Grand Theatre has always been in the vanguard of development in theatre: it was the first theatre in Blackpool to be totally electric; it was the first to have a fully cantilevered circle eliminating the need for pillars to give every seat a clear view; and Matcham invented the crash doors that enabled a quick evacuation of the building.
To celebrate this important milestone, our mission is to secure the theatre for the next generation, starting with a campaign to raise £125,000 to repair the storm damage to the dome at the front of the building.
Access all public areas
For our 125th Anniversary we will be holding a limited run of special access days; The 125 Celebration Open Day will be free of charge. Allowing you to wander free around public areas with a special selection of our archive on display highlighting our 125 years, from the original build through to the epic struggle, to the glorious theatre it is today…
Or, book now for one of our thirty-minute tours led by one of our heritage volunteers (£4 p/p). Book early as these will go quickly. We look forward to celebrating our 125 years with you all!
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 and 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.
Explore our gVlog with Hayley Kay who explored the theatre on a Heritage Tour with one of our volunteers. Travel from 1894 to present day and learn more about our theatre architect Frank Matcham and his masterpiece that celebrates its 125th Anniversary (1894 to 2019).
Friends of The Grand Coffee Morning
Thursday 21 March at 10.30am
Our Friends of The Grand welcome all to their Friends Coffee Morning. Join us for a get together over coffee and cake. 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 TICKETS – Call the Box Office on 01253 290 190 (please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!) or visit the website
Solid Silver 60’s Show
Thursday 21 March at 7.30pm
For over 30 years, the Solid Silver 60s Show has entertained the nation and celebrated the world’s most loved music. Known as an institution on the 60s circuit, it’s the original and premier sixties show, bringing you classic hits performed by the original hit makers.
This year 60s favourites Peter Noone, Brian Poole and Dave Berry with Vanity Fare unite for what could be the last ever Solid Silver 60s Show.
Friday 22 March at 7.30pm
‘The Greatest Rock & Roll Band In The World’ is a bold statement but Showaddywaddy has lived up to that title for the last 4 decades! Formed in the 1970s in Leicester from several local bands, they have sold more than 20 million records and have toured all corners of the World extensively.
Their live show is dynamic and uplifting featuring all of their biggest hits, many of which reached number one in the pop charts of Europe. ‘Under The Moon of Love’, ‘Three Steps to Heaven’, ‘Hey Rock & Roll’, ‘When’, ‘Blue Moon’, ‘Pretty Little Angel Eyes’ and many, many more.
Reach Out to Motown
Saturday 23 March at 7.30pm
Original Drifters member Roy G Hemmings’ Reach Out To Motown is a celebration of 50 years of Motown, with hits by The Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie to name but a few.
This electrifying show features such classic hits as Baby Love, Dancing In The Street, My Girl, I Can’t Help Myself, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Reach Out and more. Front man Roy G Hemmings has been the longest serving member of The Drifters and has appeared at prestigious venues around the world, including a memorable performance at the White House for the then president Bill Clinton.
NDC Wales presents Awakening
Wednesday 27 March at 7.30pm
National Dance Company Wales presents Awakening. Three unique dances to amuse and amaze; After Image, Revellers’ Mass and Tundra.
Afterimage is a journey of fleeting images; of appearance and disappearance. Mirrors are used on stage to form a unique theatrical experience where the past and the present collide with a poetic & creative style of dance.
Revellers’ Mass delves into a sumptuous world of ritual. An unlikely group gathers for a dinner party, where convictions, tradition and social etiquette are put to the test in an unexpected evening of revelry. The animated choreography and curious characters are Inspired by iconic paintings and historical events.
Tundra traverses barren landscape where ultra-modern creativity blinks into life. This dance tears pages from the history books on Russian folk dance, the USSR and revolution, revitalising old ideas with renewed meaning.The bold design is inspired by art and cinema. A dance so robotically precise it’s as mesmerizingly beautiful as it is astounding.
Jason Manford: Muddle Class
Thursday 28 March at 7.30pm
He’s back! It’s been a busy few years for Jason Manford since his last smash-hit stand up show but fans of his Absolute Radio show will know this nationally acclaimed comedian hasn’t changed a bit.
‘Muddle Class’ promises to feature a wealth of new material about Jason growing up ‘working class’ then finding, over the years, that part of him has become ‘middle class’ – causing much confusion! Delivered with Jason’s amiable charm and captivating wit, this is a show not to be missed.
Jason said: “Somebody said to me on my Facebook fan page, ‘it’s been ages since you’ve toured’. I thought ‘no way, it was last year wasn’t it? Anyway, long story short, they were right, it was years ago! I just got fooled cos I’ve been on tour doing musicals and the last tour is repeated on Dave ja Vu 13 times a day! So I’ve been putting some stuff together, looking at my life and how it’s changed over the years, how the world has changed and how my parents haven’t changed a bit! It’s going to be a great tour and I can’t wait to see you there.”
Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom
Saturday/Sunday 30 – 31 March 2019, shows at 10am, 1pm and 4pm
Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom returns to Blackpool Grand Theatre!
“Somewhere, hidden amongst the thorny brambles is a little kingdom where everyone is very very small…” From the makers of Peppa Pig comes this BAFTA award-winning television animation live on stage!
Holly is a young Fairy Princess (the daughter of King Thistle), who is still learning how to fly and her magic doesn’t always go quite according to plan. Her best friend, Ben the Elf, doesn’t have wings and he doesn’t do magic, but he runs very fast and flies on the back of Gaston the Ladybird, he is never without his horn which he likes to toot a lot.. They live in the Little Kingdom, a tiny land where flowers and grass rise high above them and every day is an adventure.
Ben and Holly have fun and games helping Gaston the Ladybird clean up his messy cave, they go on a trip into The Big World with tooth-fairy Nanny Plum, even plan a surprise birthday party for King Thistle, and oops, let’s hope there’s not another jelly flood!
Jasper Carrott’s Stand Up And Rock
Monday 1 April at 7.30pm
The 2019 tour sees the legendary Jasper Carrott back with a new stand up show before introducing his musical compatriots that have been ‘rockin’ audiences all over the world.
Bev Bevan, as well as being Jasper Carrott’s mate has rock star credentials that most dream of…founding member of The Move and ELO Bev’s band are one of the finest around. Joining them are Geoff Turton from the Rockin’ Berries and Suzi Woo.
Seven Drunken Nights
Sunday 7 April at 7.30pm
Direct from the West End, the show brings to life the music of Ireland’s favorite sons ‘The Dubliners’. Telling the story of a career spanning 50 years and evoking the spirit of Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna, Jim McCann, Ciaran Bourke and John Sheahan. This talented cast of musicians and singers bring the music of this iconic group to life.
A performance that will have you singing and clapping along to such classics as The Wild Rover, The Black Velvet Band, The Irish Rover, Molly Malone, Finnegan’s Wake, McAlpines Fusileers, Raglan Road and of course The Seven Drunken Nights. This celebration of the music of The Dubliners is a celebration of Irish music itself and a guaranteed evening of music, humor and ‘craic’.
9 to 13 April, shows at 7.30pm with 2.30pm matinee Weds/Sat
Following the phenomenal success of its world premiere tour, Middle Ground Theatre Company is delighted to present the gripping and critically acclaimed courtroom sensation The Verdict.
Frank Galvin is a washed up veteran lawyer and an alcoholic. He is presented with one last chance to redeem himself when he is given an open-and-shut medical malpractice case that no one thinks he can win. Up against the unforgiving medical establishment and the all-powerful Catholic Church, he courageously refuses an out of court settlement, believing it is negligence that has condemned a young mother. Smelling a cover up, he instead takes the case and the entire legal system to court.
Ian Kelsey is known by millions for his regular roles in Blue Murder, Emmerdale, Casualty, Down To Earth, Where The Heart Is, Doctors and Coronation Street. He is joined by veteran star Denis Lill (Only Fools & Horses/The Royal), Paul Opacic (Bad Girls/Emmerdale/ Hollyoaks), Christopher Ettridge (Goodnight Sweetheart), Richard Walsh (London’s Burning) Karen Drury (Brookside) in a full cast of fifteen.
The Illegal Eagles
Sunday 14 April at 7.30pm
The Illegal Eagles are the World’s Official No.1 Eagles tribute returns in 2019 for another outstanding show promising more of their trademark musical prowess, acute attention to detail, and incredible showmanship.
This phenomenal group of musicians have been touring for over two decades and remain true Eagles fanatics! Their longevity and continued international acclaim are due in no small part to their extraordinary mastery of the Eagles’ distinctive sound. Featuring the very best from the Eagles’ repertoire including Hotel California, Take it to the Limit, Life in the Fast Lane, Take It Easy, Lyin’ Eyes, Desperado and plenty more!
The Sound Of Music
17 to 20 April, shows at 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm matinee on Saturday
This Easter the hills (and the coast) are alive with a dynamic new production of The Sound of Music, presented by Ensemble Theatre. An ‘all time classic’ guaranteed to touch everyone’s heart. Featuring Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Edelweiss and So Long, Farewell – This Oscar winning musical will be one of your ‘favourite things’ to see with all the family.
The children of Captain von Trapp fill their days playing funny tricks on everyone all around them but secretly want a mother to love them… only one person fits the bill, Maria! So, starts the adventure of a lifetime, and one that will change their lives forever.
24 to 27 April, shows at 7.30pm, plus 2pm matinee on Thurs/Sat
This musical, first shown in 1964, has become one of the most enduring musical theatre hits, with four Broadway revivals and international success. Dolly has been played by stars such as Carol Channing, Mary Martin, Danny La Rue and, most recently in 2017, Bette Midler.
At the turn of the 20th century, New York City is excited because widowed but brassy Dolly Gallagher Levi is in town. Dolly makes a living through what she calls “meddling” – matchmaking and numerous sidelines, including dance instruction and mandolin lessons. She is currently seeking a wife for half-millionaire, Horace Vandergelder, but it becomes clear that Dolly intends to marry Horace herself.
Horace explains to his two clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, that he is going to get married. He plans to travel with Dolly to New York City to propose to the widow Irene Molloy, who owns a hat shop there. He sets off for New York and leaves Cornelius and Barnaby to run the store. Cornelius decides that he and Barnaby need to get out of Yonkers. They’ll go to New York, have a good meal, spend all their money, see the stuffed whale in Barnum’s museum, almost get arrested, and each kiss a girl! They blow up some tomato cans to create a terrible stench and a good alibi to close the store.
What follows in New York is mistaken identities, lost wallets and a dancing competition. But will Dolly get her man and will Cornelius and Barnaby fulfil their wishes?
Featuring the well-known songs Elegance, It Only Takes A Moment, Put On Your Sunday Clothes, It Takes A Woman and, of course, Hello Dolly, this fast-paced musical comedy is a show not to be missed. Presented by Blackpool Operatic Players who performed Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in 2018.
In the Willows
30 April to 4 May, shows at 7pm plus 2pm matinee on Weds/Sat
Explosive new British musical, with soaring vocals and spectacular street dance, starring Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe, deaf street dancer Chris Fonseca (The Greatest Dancer), Seann Miley Moore (X Factor) and Matt Knight (Let It Shine).
Mole’s first day in ‘The Willows’. Her classmates look a bit scary. Surely Mr Badger will look out for her, as streetwise Rattie, rich kid Toad and cheeky Otter teach her the ways of The Riverbank. But when Toad gets locked up for joyriding, the Weasel Clan break into his (lily)pad. It’s now only a matter of time before Chief Weasel reveals Mole’s dark secret…
This classic story is brought leaping into the twenty first century, featuring spectacular street dance choreographed by the award-winning Rhimes Lecointe (Associate choreographer for Zoo Nation, and Artistic Director of Boudicea).
With ballads, beats, and backflips, this fresh new musical will be fun for the whole family.
Northern Ballet’s Puss in Boots
Saturday 11 May at 2pm and 4pm
Puss in Boots is no ordinary cat. Clever and charming, he takes life in his stride and befriends everyone he meets. The only thing is, he always seems to bring his master, Jack, bad luck.
Join Puss and Jack on their adventure as they meet a flurry of lovable characters, and even come face to face with royalty! It’s the perfect opportunity for your little ones to enjoy live ballet, music and theatre. This child friendly performance lasts approximately 40 minutes.
The Simon and Garfunkel Story
Sunday 12 May at 7.30pm
Direct from a week-long run in London’s West End at the Vaudeville Theatre, a SOLD OUT Worldwide tour and standing ovations at every performance, The Simon and Garfunkel Story is back!
Using huge projection photos and original film footage, this 50th Anniversary Celebration also features a full live band performing all of Simon and Garfunkel’s hits including Mrs Robinson, Cecilia, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Homeward Bound and many more. Get your tickets fast as this is an evening not to be missed!
Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll
Sunday 19 May at 7.30pm
Marty Wilde, Eden Kane, Mike Berry, The Wildcats, and very special guest Little Miss Sixties Nancy Ann Lee join forces in The Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll Show.
Join us in celebrating Marty Wilde’s 80th birthday! The late fifties and early sixties were without doubt some of the most exciting and important years in the history of music. With the arrival of rock ‘n’ roll, a whole new pop culture was born. Performing their own hits and collaborating live on stage, Marty, Eden and Mike, teen idols of their day, show us how rock ‘n’ roll with its fusion of sound and rhythm shaped the style of music that we listened to then and still do today.
Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll includes hits such as A Teenager In Love, Rubber Ball, Donna, I Don’t Know Why, Well I Ask You, Don’t You Think It’s Time, The Sunshine of Your Smile, Venus In Blue Jeans, Go Away Little Girl, and many, many more!
Hello Again: The Story of Neil Diamond
Friday 24 May at 7.30pm
Evocative imagery, video and narration enhance the magic, as the show takes you on a musical journey through the glittering 50 year career of Neil Diamond.
From The Bang Years to the present day you’ll soon be singing along to all the hits including Sweet Caroline, Cracklin’ Rosie, Forever in Blue Jeans, Song Sung Blue, Hello Again, Love on the Rocks, America and many more.
Steve Steinman’s Anything For Love
Sunday 26 May at 7.30pm
Steve Steinman brings you his brand-new production, Anything For Love, featuring Meat Loaf’s greatest hits with special guest star Lorraine Crosby, the female lead vocalist on Meat Loaf’s Grammy Award winning song and No 1 hit the world over “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”.
Steve Steinman has come a long way since his appearance as Meat Loaf on ITV’s hit TV show Stars In Their Eyes back in 1993. His journey can only be described as remarkable as for the past 26 years Steve has constantly toured all over the world in the hit show “The Meat Loaf Story”. He has performed in some of the most iconic venues such as Sun City, South Africa and the London Palladium, which Steve rates as one of his all-time achievements.
With incredible stage set live band and production, combined with Steve’s well-known sense of humour and stage presence, along with the amazing Lorraine Crosby the show can only be described as ‘awesome’. The show will feature Meat Loaf’s greatest hits of all time including – Anything For Love – Bat Out Of Hell – Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth – Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad – Dead Ringer For Love and many, many more.
29 May to 1 June, shows at 7.30pm, plus 2pm matinee on Thurs/Sat
One of showbusiness most classic and beloved tales, 42ND STREET tells the story of Peggy Sawyer, a talented young performer with stars in her eyes who gets her big break on Broadway.
Peggy arrives to New York City from her hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania, armed with her tap shoes and big dreams. Peggy’s talent catches the eye of legendary Broadway director Julian Marsh, who gives her a spot in the chorus of Pretty Lady, his newest show.
The show however already has a classic Broadway diva, who of course takes an instant dislike to Peggy. When the star of the show is injured during previews, Pretty Lady looks like closure, unless of course a new girl talented lead can be found – someone maybe like Peggy Sawyer!
42ND STREET features the iconic songs 42nd Street, We’re In the Money, I Only Have Eyes For You, Lullaby of Broadway, Dames and Shuffle Off To Buffalo.
How can you help The Grand?
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.
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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