The town of Blackpool; this for me is the heart of northwest England and one of my most favourite places. I really do not know many actors who have not played here and have not loved it, although plenty of moans at the time re landladies and wages! It is especially important to me as I met my partner John here.
The town has two theatres both excellent. The Winter Gardens Opera House has been opened since 1878, this the third incarnation of the building has been around since 1939. With 3,000 seats it is one of the largest theatres in Britain. Hollywood stars and pop stars have all played there. I even remember on holiday there one time seeing the infamous Black and White Minstrels. My parents apparently drew everyone’s attention by hissing at me as I was wondering down the aisle to the stage, mesmerized at that age by the spectacle of theatre. The building is a Grade 11 listed building; it has also twice hosted the Royal variety Performance outside of London.Read More
Along time ago when I was a young and struggling actor in the singing sixties, I had the pleasure of performing at the Manchester Hyde Theatre. This was one of the biggest stages in the area and was so good to work in. The theatre disappeared to the cinema goers in the 1972, a sad occasion and it finally closed in 1992 due to fraud and money mismanagement. The owner placed the theatre for sale but no one bought and it moved sadly into neglect and decline. One bright spot is that the local people did not want this to happen to this lovely Edwardian theatre. In 2000 the building was given listed building status and a Building Preservation Trust was formed to save it, known as the “Theatre Royal Onwards” it has worked steadily and with dedication to rescue this lovely 1600 seat theatre. Stars old and new have come onboard, giving their support and this year the owners dropped their price; renewing efforts to fund raise to purchase the building.Read More
Theatre continued to find its place in our history; the plays also finding a fringe element even then to proclaim about perceived and real injustices and to introduce new ideas and values. Roman theatre continued development of the plays and actors and a growing awareness of the audience. Lavish productions and amphitheaters where built where ever the Romans settled and certainly they brought them to Britannica.
Cicero, a great Roman Orator, philosopher and statement in the latter years of the Roman Empire, well knew the value of words to his audience. A compatriot of his was the famous Roman actor, Quintus Roscius Gallus, a comedy actor who also played in the popular tragedies. Roscius well knew the value of the use of gestures to involve, excite and amuse his audience. It is said he and Cicero competed to see who could best express the same thought, either by use of word of movement. The beginnings of our trade, combinations of words, actions and gestures to convey a meaning or feeling that will entice and involve our audiences.Read More