Once A Year On Blackpool Sands- a heartwarming LGBT comedy (Greater Manchester Fringe 2018)

Hello and welcome to the Greater Manchester Fringe Festivals 2018 preview articles. On the run up to this years Greater Manchester Fringe Festival I'll be having a look at the shows to see if its something that you must go and see above all else! I'll try to give attention to as many acts as possible throughout my look at the shows and maybe I can convince you to go something that you might never have thought about before.

The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival us a great performing arts festival encompassing anything and everything from theatre, music, stand up comedy you name it's probably been in the festival at some stage or another. The festival will be taking place at venues all over Greater Manchester between the 1st and the 31st of July 2018. More details can be found here: http://www.greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk/

The topic of today's preview is Once A Year on Blackpool Sands by Karlton Parris and performed by Manchester's own Skint productions. Staged at Three Minute Theatre between the 11th and 13th of July and then at Salford Arts Theatre between the 20th and 21st of July; all information here comes from their press release which was very kindly supplied to me by Debbie. After the Manchester Fringe shows are wrapped the show will receive a run in New York and then being made into a film.

What excites me about this production is it's a true story about two people who spent their last few days together with each other, even though they knew that it was seen as wrong they still did it because its what they needed to do; which I'm sure that everyone reading can relate to in a fashion. Throw in plenty of light and shade for good measure to make a one of a kind story that transcends theatre.

Once On A Year On Blackpool sands is an LGBT comedy set in 1953, before homosexuality was legal based on the real-life love affair of two gay miners Eddy and Tommy as they head on their annual wakes holiday. Staying in the Withering heights on sea house where we find the odd Glayds, flirty and rebellion daughter Maureen and the infamous Red Ethel the ex communist stripper, show girl. Meanwhile upstairs there's Mr Elderbrige who's trying to work up the courage to unleash his alter ego's and walk the pier as a woman. As the story unfolds six lives will never be the same as Eddy reveals a shocking truth leading to a life time of activism to fight for freedom for the LGBT community.

The cast is made up of Kyle Brookes as Eddy Corkhill, Macaulay Cooper as Tommy Price, Dominic McCavish as Phyllis (Mr Elbridge), Red Ethel is played by Linda Clark (Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Doctors, Doctor Who and That Peter Kay Thing, with Manchester's home grown real life mother and daughter Wendy Laurence, and Mollie Jones playing Gladys and Maureen in the stage production.

What makes the story sound so charming and likeable is the fact that is based on true events as writer Kartlon Parris met the real-life Tommy and Eddy in a bar in Greece 30 years ago and was told their powerful, enthralling, inspirational and funny story.

As McCauley says in the press release "the one tangible thing that shines through the stage play and film script is just how much these two young men loved each other, in a time when to do so was to risk it all.”

Kyle from Liverpool said "However that said, this script is so funny it turns on a sixpence, so to speak. It's harrowing one minute, thoughtful, even charming, the next. Then laugh out loud hysterical."

"The cast are wonderful and we all share this overriding commitment to doing justice to these

six real people."

To sum up this is shaping up to be a fantastic production and one that will be well worth your time and money especially if you're a fan of LGBT theatre already, but in my honest opinion even if you aren't I still think there'll be something here for you to enjoy as we all know that feeling of wanting to do something even if you know its something that others think you shouldn't as that's life and we act on our own beliefs doing what we think is right.

Tickets for Once A Year On Blackpool Sands can be found here: https://www.ticketweb.uk/search?q=once+a+year+on+blackpool

Thanks for reading and if you want to get a better idea on what I do at the work I create at Great Expectations Theatre then you can find that here: https://www.greatexpectationstheatre.co.uk/single-post/2016/07/13/Our-beautiful-Website

Photo by GMFringe

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