Feeling the ‘Sea Breeze’

Morecambe Seaside Festival

Morecambe Seaside Festival

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Morecambe will feel the ‘Sea Breeze’ with a new theatre production at the Morecambe Winter Gardens, celebrating the memories of the iconic landmark.

Part of the Seaside Festival Weekend 2013, See Breeze written by Jonathan Raisin and Elizabeth Willow aims to capture the long life of the Winter Gardens.

The duo began working together in 2009 exploring ‘memory, sense of place, dreams and desire’ they became acclaimed for in the Making Time Garden and Exhibition during 2010/11.

For the upcoming production, they have met with the people who kept the theatre running over the years, collecting the staff’s stories and memories.

Speaking about the tales, Jonathan said: “there are stories of wartime fire watching in the ballroom; hypnotising crocodiles and getting a donkey onto the stage; a ghostly violinist playing in the gods; selling ice creams to the packed summer crowds in the circle.

“There is even the story of the final performance in the theatre, and the woman who locked the doors for the last time in 1977.”

The Morecambe Winter Gardens opened as The Victoria Pavilion Theatre in 1897, but due to declining profits it was closed in 1977.

In 2006, The Friends of The Winter Gardens charity purchased the building and reopened the theatre to the public.

Commissioned by Live at LICA, it will feature a modern take on the traditional life of the theatre, using archive films, singing and architectural projection to voice the ‘unsung heroes’ of the Winter Gardens.

Live at LICA (Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts) is the combined organisation for The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster International Concert Series and the Peter Scott Gallery at Lancaster University campus.

Leo Burtin, an assistant producer for Live at LICA said: “From our point of view, this project forms part of the organisation’s endeavour to take work beyond our walls.

“Previous projects in unusual spaces have included Invisible Flock: Sand Pilot in Morecambe Bay and Louise Ann Wilson’s Ghost Bird.”

It will begin on August 31 from 6.15pm, and September 1 from 6.15pm with ticket prices starting at £5.

Sea Breeze will also have an exhibition at the Peter Scott Gallery from October 2013, made up of found objects from the Winter Garden’s past.

For any inquiries contact Leo Burtin on 01524 594151 or to book tickets visit www.liveatlica.org/seabreeze or call the box office on 01254 594151.