Comedian Steve steps into panto hero’s clogs for premiere

Steve Royle as Dan Leno
Steve Royle as Dan Leno
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A world premiere of a new play - starring comedian Steve Royle - will take place as part of this year’s Lytham Festival.

Steve, best known on the Fylde for his 15-year run in the Grand Theatre’s annual pantomime, will lead the cast in the premiere of Dan Leno: A Royal Jester.

Dan Leno

Dan Leno

The exciting new play, running at Lytham’s Wesley Hall Theatre from Wednesday to Sunday, July 18 to 22, charts the life of Dan Leno who developed his skills in the Northern and Lancashire music halls and became a champion clog dancer, acrobat and comedian.

He went on to become a huge celebrity in the London theatres and established his name as the pre-eminent pantomime star at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where he created some iconic dame roles, and became a favourite of King Edward VII and the Royal family.

Playwright David Slattery-Christy said: “It’s exciting to bring another new play to the Lytham Festival.

“This play has been in my head for a long time – but it wasn’t until I saw Steve Royle in a show last year that I finally discovered an artist who I felt could portray Dan Leno and his comedy.

Comedian Steve Royle

Comedian Steve Royle

“Dan’s story is funny and sad in equal measure – and the play also includes some classic music-hall songs of the period.”

Steve, who lives in Chorley and presents on Radio Lancashire, said he was ‘flattered and thrilled’ to have been asked to play the ‘ legendary music-hall star’

“Dan Leno was as passionate about pantomime as I am and hopefully I will be able to do him justice,” he added. “I began as an actor with Oldham Theatre Workshop 30 years ago and I look forward to taking on the role with excitement and fear in equal measure.”

Visit www.lythamfestival.com for details and tickets.