Amateur players have a Ball

Rosie Withers, Bobby Ball, Mark Alexander
Rosie Withers, Bobby Ball, Mark Alexander

Rock Off Tommy

Lowther Pavilion

February 5-8, 2014

Madcap comic Bobby Ball has chosen award-winning amateur theatre group Fylde Coast Players to present the world premiere of a play he has written, Rock Off Tommy!

Not only that, the legendary duo Cannon and Ball will take the lead roles themselves when it is staged at Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion Theatre in February.

Bobby, who lives in St Annes, said: “It was only through a chance meeting with a member of Fylde Coast Players that this has come about.

“I was training at a local dance school, the Clifton Academy, for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special last year because I couldn’t get to London for rehearsals.”

During a break, he got talking to Fylde Coast Players member Helen Barrow.

“I knew the Players, I’ve seen several of their productions at Lowther Pavilion and been impressed with the quality of their performances. I told her about the play and how I was hoping to get it on the stage and she said Fylde Coast Players would be delighted to produce it.

“I gave Tommy a call and he instantly agreed.”

‘Rock Off Tommy!’ begins with a retired Tommy Cannon running a bar in Majorca having split with long-time comedy partner Bobby Ball on acrimonious terms.

“This wouldn’t happen in real life of course,” says Bobby.

“Tommy and I have appeared together for more than 50 years and we’ve never had any cross words in all that time.”

The bar is struggling to survive so with assistance from his drunken wife, a camp compere and his dopey waiter, Tommy plans some entertainment to pull in new custom.

But there’s a surprise in store when the act turns out to be none other than Bobby, performing under a new name...

The play is being directed by leading Fylde Coast Player member Rosie Withers and rehearsals are already under way.

She said: “This is a hilarious comedy in true Cannon and Ball style. We’re absolutely sure it will be highly popular not only with our regular audience but Tommy and Bobby’s many fans throughout the North West.

“Fylde Coast Players are thrilled and honoured to present the premiere. This is a very exciting opportunity.”

Rock Off Tommy! is at Lowther Pavilion for four nights from Wednesday, February 5, to Saturday, February 8, at 7.30 pm.

Early Bird tickets cost £12 and £10 for concs (£15 and £12 after December 1, 2013). Bookings at the box office (telephone 01253 794221) or online at www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk.

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