Thoughts On... Blackpool Grand Theatre

Thoughts On... Blackpool Grand Theatre

26 November 2015

by Charlotte Bee

This week Brave New World is playing at Blackpool Grand Theatre. The Grand is one of Britain’s premier heritage theatres. Listed Grade II*, this theatre is in the top 8 per cent of all listed buildings in England, and one of only thirty listed buildings in Blackpool. Charlotte Bee interviewed members of the public attending Brave New World to find out more about their relationship with the theatre.


I attended the opening night of Brave New World armed with my voice recorder. I interviewed a group of young college students of the Grand Theatre Club.

Thoughts On... Blackpool Grand Theatre

‘I’ve never been to the theatre before, however the Grand Theatre is my first stop in terms of experiencing the theatre, so it's my gateway into the whole way of expression via acting to local people’  – ‚Äč Sidney Scarles (Student rep/Grand Theatre Club)

‘The Grand Theatre is a place where I can freely enjoy acting and performances without all the barriers presented by a screen, it’s a place I can go to experience a greater sense of realism’ (Student of the Grand Theatre Club)

‘It's a place to continue my passion, I’ve loved the intimate and personal nature of theatre ever since I was young. It’s always felt like I was in the room, and allowed me to feel like I was part of the scenes’. – (Student of the Grand Theatre Club)

During the interval I also interviewed an elderly couple, Stuart and Lesley Morris.

‘It is our local theatre we enjoy coming to watch shows at, we don’t come often, but we come to support the beautiful theatre as it would be a shame to lose it’. – Stuart and Lesley Morris (Local theatre goers)

Inside Frank Matcham's Grand Theatre Inside the Blackpool Grand, designed by Frank Matcham. Photograph courtesy of Michael D Beckwith.  

How do you think the Grand can attract new audiences?

‘Theatre is always going to be a personal thing and I think people seek something more tangible than movies, so new groups of people will always visit as people will always feel drawn to the sense of inclusion a theatre provides’.(Student of the Grand Theatre Club)

‘Drawing new crowds is made easier by the showing of more controversial Shows’(Student of the Grand Theatre Club)

It’s almost a guilty pleasure watching it explores the parts of your mind you want to express, but are too afraid to express’ Sidney Scarles (Student Rep/Grand Theatre Club)

What did you think of the show?

‘I loved it, the main parts of it which I thought were strange were the drug use and the attitude towards promiscuity. Drug use in that time is acceptable, as it’s a government funded drug, and promiscuity is a big part for us humans, so its strange but it makes sense’.Sidney Scarles (Student Rep/Grand Theatre Club)

Brave New World premieres at Royal and Derngate, Northampton, where it runs from 4 to 26 September 2015. It then tours to Edinburgh, Blackpool, Nottingham, Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Darlington and Bradford where it concludes on 5 December.