A visit to the theatre may be a Shrew-d move

Two of the cast from the RSC's First Encounter production of The Taming of the Shrew, which comes to the Blackpool Grand next year.
Two of the cast from the RSC's First Encounter production of The Taming of the Shrew, which comes to the Blackpool Grand next year.

The Grand Theatre has revealed its new season programme, featuring compelling Shakespearean drama, top pop music, breathtaking dance, and a unique hip hop festival.

Drama lovers will discover a feast for the eyes and ears this season, starting with one of the world’s greatest love stories ever told Eternal Love. This thought-provoking play is based on the true story of doomed lovers Abelard and Heloise, presented by English Touring Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe.

The fabulous and funny play Brassed Off takes to The Grand’s stage in April, which features live music, and features Waterloo Road star John McArdle.

If you saw Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap in November, then you’ll love Black Coffee, direct from London’s West End and starring Robert Powell as the most famous detective of all time, Poirot.

For comedy lovers, why not try the unmissable Olivier Award-winning Morecambe, or Joe Orton’s black comedy Entertaining Mr Sloane?

If you enjoy a more classical theatre experience, The Grand has a range of world class ballet and opera productions for you, including a trio of ballet masterpieces performed by The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia – Giselle, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.

The Grand also welcomes the return of Ellen Kent with the opera La Boheme, Ballet Theatre UK with The Little Mermaid and Northern Ballet with Three Little Pigs (A ballet for children).

The acclaimed Hofesh Schechter opens the season with his hotly-anticipated piece Sun, followed by Dancing Partners’ triple bill of exciting dance, which includes work by Norrdans, Company Chameleon and Thomas Noone Dance Company.

Later in the season, Fabulous Beast Theatre presents Rite of Spring and Petruska, the graduate dance company 12 Degrees North return with their new triple bill and finally, the incredible choreographer of the Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony James Wilton stages his brand new work Last Man Standing.

One of the most exciting highlights is Breakin’ Convention... an all-inclusive Hip Hop festival direct from Sadler’s Wells London, featuring international hip hop dance companies, as well as three local dance crews.

Breakin’ Convention is a one day event which will see The Grand transformed into an urban festival venue.

Family engagement with the arts is important to The Grand. The theatre will once again play a major part in Blackpool’s annual Showzam! Festival, with the song, dance and fun-filled Barney Live – The Let’s Go Tour, the dysfunctional and darkly funny Meet the Hogwallops and the ultimate musical night out Sing-a-Long-a-Grease. Later on, see history brought to life in Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain.

In February, the Grand Theatre proudly presents The Royal Shakespeare Company with their First Encounter production of The Taming of The Shrew, using a distilled version of the original text to create the perfect first experience of Shakespeare for all ages.

Supporting local amateur drama companies is key to The Grand. This season sees Blackpool Operatic Player’s production of the 1930’s musical Crazy For You, Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Company’s feel-good performance of the brilliant Sister Act, Fylde Coast Players performance of Heroes and Poulton Drama’s new production of The Vicar of Dibley.

As always, live music features prominently. Rock out to The Illegal Eagles, swing to The Pasadena Roof Orchestra or step back in time with Joe Brown, while The Drifters return with their Optimum Tour.

For more information about the Grand Theatre’s new season or to book for any show, visit blackpoolgrand.co.uk. Alternatively, call the Box Office on 01253 74 33 39.