What’s On in Lancashire and the Lake District in March

Octagon Theatre Bolton - Twelfth Night

Octagon Theatre Bolton - Twelfth Night - Credit: Archant

A round-up of events in the Lancashire and Lake District in March




Ballroom to Broadway

Anton Du Beke stars in this trip of treats celebrating the golden sounds of musical through a star-spangled programme of dance and song.

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 0161 907 9000

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La Boheme

One of the most romantic operas ever written, telling the tragic tale of the doomed, consumptive Mimi and her love for a penniless writer. This classic tale of Parisian love and loss, presented by Ellen Kent, features many famous arias.

The Opera House, Manchester, 0844 871 7660


Kings of Comedy – Second House

Following last season’s sell out Kings of Comedy, Jeff Brailsford is back with another evening featuring the lives, stories and jokes of the funniest comedians of the last 50 years. From music hall and variety, the wireless and TV to the present day, join Jeff as he meanders through the years, spilling the beans of the famous and nicking the best of their gags.

The Playhouse Theatre, Preston, 01772 744771



Verdi’s Aida – the grandest of all operas. Directed by Ellen Kent and starring international soloists, this brand new production brings the hot, dusty plains and dramatic grandeur of ancient Egypt to the stage in Verdi’s classic love story of war, jealousy and revenge.

The Opera House, Manchester, 0844 871 7660



Based on Shakespeare’s great tragedy, Verdi has created a gripping music drama of extravagance and originality.

The Lowry, Salford Quays, Manchester, 0844 815 4873


Words By The Water

Kirsty Wark of BBC 2’s Newsnight, opens the annual festival in Keswick which also sees Germaine Greer musing on people;s relationship with the natural world, George Monbiot presenting a vision for a new, positive environmentalism as well as many more authors, scientists historians and performers.

Theatre By The Lake, Keswick, 017687 74411, www.wayswithwords.co.uk

Until 8th

Let It Be

The iconic music of The Beatles with this spectacular concert jam-packed with more than 40 of The Beatles greatest hits, direct from the West End.

The Palace Theatre, Manchester, 0844 871 7660

Until 8th

The Seagull

The Library Theatre present this new version of the captivating study of the corrosion of youthful idealism, wasted ambitions and unrequited love.

The Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays, 0843 208 6010

Until 8th

Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster

Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley Cropper, Coronation Street) stars in this play – an elegy to Sophie by poet Simon Armitage.

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 0161 833 9833


Ballad of the Burning Star

Theatre Ad Infinitum presents its new award-winning musical play. Armed with music, killer heels and a lethal troop of divas, an enraged Israeli executues a story of victimhood, persecution, aggression and love. With shrapnel-sharp voices and moves as smooth as an oiled tank chain, this cabaret troop invites you on a journey into the core of the conflicted Jewish state.

Unity Theatre, Liverpool, 0844 873 2888



The latest play by Vivienne Franzmann, centres on sisters Pink and Rolly. Rolly loves Pink. And Pink loves getting bombed off her face. Trapped in a tiny rotting world, they are cuffed to a past that refuses to release them.

Royal Exchange, Manchester, 0161 833 9833


One Dream: The Beryl Marsden Story

The life and career of Liverpool-born singer Beryl Marsden is celebrated in this new musical.

Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, 0844 888 4411


Love and Red Tape

Miscreations Theatre present this show – an absurd and poignant fast-paced comedy about love, duty and bureaucracy where audiences are led through a health and safety crisis and are met with disaster.

Arnside Educational Institute, Arnside, 01524 762254



Evita tells the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine director Juan Peron, from her young and ambitious beginnings to the enormous wealth and power she gained and her ultimate rise to sainthood.

The Palace Theatre, Manchester, 0844 871 7660


The Mousetrap

With an atmosphere shuddering in suspense and a brilliantly intricate plot, murder lurks around every corner in this 60th anniversary production.

The Lowry, Salford Quays, Manchester, 0844 815 4873


Your Country Needs You (But I don’t need my country)

The Dukes Young Actors and Young Company presents this play by Laurence Wilson, the Company and other collaborators, exploring what it means to go to war and what nationalism means to young people now.

The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster, 01524 598500


Hello Dolly

Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company present this show following the exploits of Dolly Levi and the superb cast of characters who surround her. It is a fun filled, light hearted musical packed with toe tapping hummable tunes and fabulous dance routines.

Pendle Hippodrome Theatre, Colne, 01282 612402, www.phtheatre.co.uk


Dance ‘Til Dawn

Strictly Come Dancing favourites Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace present a brand new show. After wowing audiences across the country with Midnight Tango, the dazzling duo return in a sensational dance show straight from the golden age of Hollywood.

The Opera House, Manchester, 0844 871 7660


Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain

From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, hear the legends (and the lies) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry’s headless wives and his punch up with the pope. Survive the Spanish Armada as it sails into the audience.

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool, 01253 743338

28th-April 19th

Dancing at Lughnasa

A warm, funny, sad story of love, change and regret by Brian Friel.

Theatre By The Lake, Keswick, 017687 74411


Forever In Blue Jeans

Come and join one of the greatest party’s in town, with music from the rock ‘n’ roll 50s, the swinging 60s, the Motown 70s and the Abba 80s. With eight superb singers, dancers and musicians, the show is eye catching and heart stopping from beginning to end.

The Charter Theatre, Preston, www.prestonguildhall.com

Until April 22nd

Twelfth Night

Set in a stately home in Lancashire, Downton Abbey meets Upstairs Downstairs in a world of drunks in the kitchen, feisty in-between maids, foolish aristocrats, irreverent comics, love sick young men and beautiful ladies in love.

The Octagon Theatre, Bolton, 01204 520661





Until 2nd

Liverpool International Jazz Festival

This new festival is back and will include performances from celebrated British Jazz pianist and multi-award winner Jason Rebello who opens the festival, Anglo-American jazz ‘supergroup’ The Impossible Gentlemen and the Stuart McCallum Trio amongst the names.

The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool, 0844 8000 410


Cataleya Quintet

Clitheroe Concerts Society present the Cataleya Quintet with Diego Acena on flute, Alasdair Hill on oboe, Pablo Ortiz De Urbina on French horn, Sophie Robertshaw on bassoon and Adrian Somogyi on clarinet, performing pieces by Ibert, Nielson, Patterson, Danzi, Poulene, Medaglia and Hallam.

CRGS Sixth Form Centre, Clitheroe, www.clitheroeconcerts.org


UCLan Chamber Choir Concert

Experience the award-winning UCLan Choir in concert. All 28 members are undergraduate BA (Hons) Music Theatre students whose main passion is singing. Each year, to provide a focal point for choral singing, the choir invites local schools and colleges to join them in concert. This year the guest choirs are from Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College, All Hallows Catholic High School and Queen’s Drive Primary School.

01772 894106, www.uclan.ac.uk/whatson


Spring Concert

TV and Royal Variety Show performer Jimmy Cricket leads an array of fresh entertainment. The Sparkle Sisters swing songs in The Andrews Sisters style, and The Flat Cap Pack put Lancashire into Las Vegas songs, plus quality music performed by students of Stonyhurst College. All in aid of the Church Development Fund.

Christ Church, Chatburn, 01254 384893



Multi award-winning folk group, Faustus performs.

Arnside Educational Institute, Arnside, 01524 762460, www.faustusband.com


Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra present this concert with conductor Vasily Petrenko and Timothy Jackson on horn, performing Mahler Blumine, Strauss Horn Concerto No 2 and Elgar Symphony No 2.

The Guildhall, Preston, 0845 344 2026


Blackburn Music Society Spring Concert

Blackburn Music Society present their spring concert featuring Schumann’s Nachtlied, Bach’s Christ lag in Todesbanden and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No 2 Hymn of Praise.

Blackburn Cathedral, 01254 201978



The Big Reunion Stars, boy band 911, are back with a brand new album on tour.

The Ritz, Manchester, 0844 248 5117


Blake Live In Concert

Vocal trio Blake, provide an evening of great music and entertainment with stunning harmonies and rat-pack banter, classic songs from their three previous albums and songs from their latest album.

Lowther Pavilion, Lytham St Annes, www.blakeofficial.com






A Very Vintage affair

Striking fashion, jewellery, home and gifts as the upper boardwalk of specialist stalls.

Preston Indoor Market, 07969 328214

2nd (9th, 16th, 23rd)

Lytham Hall Snowdrop Walk

Trail through the woodland to see stunning displays of snowdrops plus chainsaw carving in action on site.

Lytham Hall, 01253 736678


Ghostly Evenings at Hoghton Tower

Tickets (£25) include hot mulled wine and a meal for these spooky evening events.

Hoghton Tower, near Preston, 0844 888 9991, www.ticketline.co.uk/a-ghostly-evening-at-hoghton-tower


Farmers Market

Local produce market, with house open for guided tours at an additional cost.

Hoghton Tower, near Preston, www.hoghtontower.co.uk


Lytham Vintage and Antiques Market

30 great traders selling vintage, antiques, retro, pre-loved goods.

Lytham Assembly Rooms, Lytham, 01253 782828






70th Anniversary

Blackburn Drama Club celebrate their 70th anniversary with speakers and entertainment and a silent auction, in aid of East Lancashire Hospice.

Astley Bank, Darwen, 07788 105173




Until 9th

Here ant There, Ici et la by Tracy Levine

A major solo exhibition that reveals a long awaited series of Levine’s Yorkshire Dales paintings, contrasting with a series of recent work from the South West of France.

The Gallery at Rheged, Penrith, 01768 860033, www.tracylevine.co.uk

Until March 29th

Patrick Caulfield

Exhibition of vibrant and witty paintings and prints by Patrick Caulfield, whose iconic and bold style makes him one of the UK’s most distinctive artisits.

Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum, Kendal

Until April 27th

Vital Beauty: The Art of Thomas Matthews Rooke 1842-1942

Exhibition of watercolours by Thomas Matthew Rooke.

The Blue Gallery, Coniston, 015394 41396







An August Bank Holiday Lark

Northern Broadsides presents this moving drama set in rural Lancashire in the summer before World War One begins.

The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster, 01524 598500


Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry

Grammy award-winning reggae and dub artist, who has been highly influential in the development and acceptance of reggae and dub music in Jamaica and overseas, plays Liverpool.

The Kazimer, Liverpool, 0871 220 0260, www.lee-perry.com


An Evening with King James I

Dine in the magnificent and imposing banqueting hall where James I himself feasted and share in the celebrated loin of beef. Tickets £35.

Hoghton Tower, near Preston, 01254 852986, www.hoghtontower.co.uk


Ladies’ Day

The Hall Players present this comedy by Amanda Whittington. The play sees a group of four heavily-accented Hull women taking the day off work from their dreary jobs in a fish factory, slipping off their hairnets to don their fascinators and head to the races. Once there, the foursome, themselves fish out of water, make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity to mix with posh folk.

St Martins Parish Chapel Hall, Broadway, Fulwood, Preston, 01772 863801


Peter Pan On Ice

The world-renowned Russian Ice Stars brings a new adaptation of this famous adventure by JM Barries. Wendy, Michael and John are visited in the nursery by Peter Pan himself, who teaches them to fly with the help of Tinker Bell and takes them on a magical journey to Never Land.

The Palace Theatre, Manchester, 0844 871 7660