Lytham Hall provided the largest audience of Illyria’s 95-day nationwide tour, as a full house enjoyed their all–action performance of Danny, the Champion of the World.
A warm and sunny Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon drew a capacity audience of 600 for the open air season’s finale.
Illyria’s company manager Nick Taylor who played the bullying landowner Victor Hazell was full of praise for the enthusiasm of the children who made up nearly half the audience. “It’s always a treat for the cast to play at Lytham Hall,” he said, “and this year the children really made it an excellent occasion.
“There was a storm of booing every time I appeared and they created an atmosphere of both attentiveness and excitement.”
Playgoers donated almost £200 for the Trinity Hospice and the St Luke’s Leprosy Hospital in India by means of a charity raffle, with tickets for next week’s international cricket at Old Trafford and afternoon tea for two at The Glendower Hotel proving attractive prizes.
Julia Munro, 17, from St Annes, led the team of young raffle helpers. She felt that the audience was very willing to support two good causes amidst a strong family atmosphere.
“The family show is always a special occasion and I thought that the mechanical hens and pheasants really appealed to the little ones sitting on rugs at the front straightaway. The weather was suddenly glorious and the entertainment was rich.”
Julian Wilde, organiser of the outdoor season which has the Gazette’s sister paper the Lytham St Annes Express as one of its Patrons, praised all the help he received from the professional staff at Lytham Hall and the efforts of dozens of volunteers.
“It’s been a very pleasing season with attendances up by 25 per cent for the four very diverse plays. All the shows have gone very smoothly as the result of the efforts of an army of volunteer helpers and Marianne Blauuboer, activities organiser at the Hall, has been a tower of strength.
I think that the Lytham Hall plays complement all the other superb open air summer events in Lytham and I am already looking forward to the first of the 2017 plays, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, next June.”