What’s On in Lancashire and the Lake District - July 2016

Peter Pan at Hoghton Tower

Peter Pan at Hoghton Tower - Credit: Archant

Our guide to the best events in and around Lancashire and the Lake District.


Until 2nd

The Ladykillers

An eccentric little old lady is pitted against a gang of ruthless criminals in this dark comedy. Posing as amateur musicians in a string quartet, Professor Marcus and his gang rent rooms in the topsy-turvy house of unsuspecting landlady Mrs Louisa Alexandra Wilberforce. The villains plot to involve Mrs W in the heist of the century, but while the authorities are stumped, the clever Mrs W solves the crime. To prevent her going to the police, the gang decide to silence her once and for all, Mrs W finds herself alone with five desperate men and only her parrot to protect her.

The Coliseum Theatre, Oldham, 0161 624 2829

Until 2nd

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Save the Last Dance for Me

This show will take you back through the ‘music and magic’ of the early 60s, a time when each passing week brought another Rock ‘n’ Roll classic. This nostalgic, feel-good journey will transport you back to music’s golden era as we follow two teenage sisters through the summer of ’63.

The Palace Theatre, Manchester, 0161 245 6600

Until 2nd

The Mousetrap

The legendary, record-breaking, box office smash hit thriller returns. The Mousetrap is famous around the world for being the longest running show of any kind in the history of theatre.

The Opera House, Manchester, 0844 871 3018


Night in Venice

Recreating all of the romance and glamour of the Venetian soirees, the masked balls and society bustle, Night in Venice encapsulates some of the great music of Verdi, Puccini and Rossini.

The Charter Theatre, Preston, 01772 804444


Theatre on the Lawn: Much Ado About Nothing

The Handlebards – four men and their bikes, present this outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s play, bringing the Bard’s work to life in a unique and engaging way.

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


Theatre on the Lawn: Richard III

The Handlebards carry set, props and costume by bike to perform extremely energetic, charmingly chaotic and environmentally sustainable Shakespeare plays.

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



Open-air theatre production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s glorious spoof of haunted-house stories, faithfully performed by a reduced cast and accompanied by a Musical Director on keyboard.

Lytham Hall, Lytham, 01253 736652


Shakespeare in the Garden

The Festival Players present Hamlet in the open air.

Leighton Hall, Carnforth, www.leightonhall.co.uk


The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular

Wonderful memories of classic Las Vegas, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis.

The Charter Theatre, Preston, 01772 804444


Peter Pan

Chapterhouse Theatre Company present J.M. Barrie’s timeless classic with original music and songs and beautifully designed costumes in the open air.

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


Midsummer Nights Dream

In their 25th anniversary year, Illyria perform the show they performed in their first year. Perennially popular, universally loved, the play follows four couples – three human and one fairy – whose passions are sorely tested when a troupe of amateur theatricals rehearse a play about a doomed love affair. Add into the mix a heady brew of confusion, magic and mischief and you have the perfect comedy for a summer’s evening in the lakeside meadow.

Brantwood, Coniston, 015394 41396

30th-November 4th

The Rivals

In the heady heat of summer on the fashionable streets of Georgian Bath, rich heiress Lydia Languish has three lovers fighting for her hand. But Lydia – a greedy devourer of romantic novels – has set her heart on eloping with a penniless infrantry officer. What she doesn’t know is that he is not all he seems… In this whirlwind of romance, deception and intrigue, it’s no wonder the would-be suitors in this comedy, end up coming to blows.

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, 017687 74411

Until 30th

The Mighty Walzer

Sharply comic coming of age story following Oliver, played by Elliot Levey as he discovers the fast-paced world of ping pong and the wonderfully enigmatic Lorna Peachley.

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 0161 833 9833

Until September 4th

Where is Peter Rabbit?

World premiere of this show based on Beatrix Potter’s books and five of her best loved animal characters, Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle-Duck and the darker, villainous Mr Todd. This musical adventure will capture Potter’s poetry, freshness and humour, while staying faithful to her unforgettable illustrations.

Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness on Windermere, www.hop-skip-jump.com



Summer Concert

The Ribble Valley Music Festival presents the 60-strong, award-winning Cottontown Chorus performing stirring harmonies, emotional lyrics, exciting choreography and visual effects following their success at the London Palladium and in Las Vegas, plus local jazz legend Eric Ainsworth and singer, Scarlett Reynolds.

St Mary’s Centre, Clitheroe, 01254 384893



Tribute act festival that brings you blistering sets from the best rock and indie bands in the universe, without their costly ticket prices.

Moor Park, Preston, 01772 804444

6th, 8th & 9th

Summer Days Festival

A three-day boutique music and food festival in one of the north’s most beautiful and unique locations. With two live stages featuring more than 30 artists, including headliners Simply Red, a locally sourced gourmet food village and a dedicated real ale area and much, much more.

Clitheroe Castle, Clitheroe


David Gest Is Not Dead But Alive With Soul

The spectacular soul tour was organised before his death will continue with Band of Gold singer Freda taking on Gest’s compere role. The show will feature performances from music legends including Russell Thompkins Jr, Deniece Williams, Peabo Bryson, The Tymes and Melba Moore. There will be musical tributes to Gest with The Tymes performing his favourite ever song, Ms Grace.

The Charter Theatre, Preston, 01772 804444


Opera on the Lawn – Hansel & Gretel

An accessible intro to opera – bring the family along to this thrilling performance, a chair and a picnic and immerse yourself in culture.

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


St Annes Music Festival

Craft fair, arts and craft, pop-up activity, poetry and a variety of musical performances, something for everyone taking place at various venues.

Various venues, St Annes, 07970 644572


Morecambe Jazz Festival

See the finest Big Band swing orchestras, classiest quartets, trad and vintage Jazz and Jazz Funk players.

The Platform, Morecambe, 01524 582808



‘Owd Nell’s Craft Beer and Bourbon Festival

Enjoy all that’s American including live music on the Canalside Stage on Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. Canalside outdoor American bar open all weekend, with a great selection of craft beers, American wines, the best bourbons and lots more including a Texan barbecue.

Guy’s Thatched Hamlet, Bilsborrow, 01995 640020


Midland Hotel Seafood Festival

Celebrating all that is good from the sea. Festival highlights will be an ‘Under the Sea’ themed dinner dance on the first evening, and a seafood and farmers market at the hotel to give local and regional suppliers the opportunity to showcase their products. On Sunday there will be a marquee with champagne and oyster bar, seafood stall and live music from vintage singer Becki Fishwick and other entertainers.

The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, 01524 424000


Garden Fete

Attractions include plants, bric-a-brac, coconut shy, books, bouncy castle and teas served in the church.

Keswick St John Church, Keswick, vmolly789@gmail.com


Trampoline and Tumbling Championships

The 2016 British Trampoline, Tumbling and Double Mini Trampoline Championships promises to be a spectacle of the highest standard. The weekend will feature the trampoline, tumbling and double-mini trampoline qualifiers where gymnasts will compete for the top eight places in each category in the hope of qualifying for the finals.

Echo Arena, Liverpool, 0844 8000 400


The Leighton Hall Classic Car and Bike Show

There will be displays of classic cars, bikes, commercial vehicles and classic Land Rovers as well as trade stands, motor awards and an auto jumble for anyone looking for a bargain or discontinued part.

Leighton Hall, Carnforth, www.markwoodwardclassicevents.com


Summer Flower Show

Organised by The Westmorland Horticultual Society, this flower show will feature beautiful blooms, floral art, hanging baskets, children’s exhibits, light refreshments and plant stall.

Parish Hall, Kendal, 01539 741267


Browsholme Plant and Gift Fair

Enjoy the magnificent landscaped gardens and buy unusual plants from specialist nurseries, rural bygones, garden stalls. Plus demonstrations, guided garden walks and nature trail.

Browsholme Hall, Cllitheroe, 01254 827160


An Afternoon with Monty Don

A fabulous opportunity to meet Monty Don and get some valuable gardening tips for summer, with a glass of fizz on arrival followed by summer refreshments in the vintage marquee.

Stydd Gardens, Ribchester, 07960 769940


Trawden Garden Show and Scarecrow Festival

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘families’ or ‘couples’ in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday. See many different scarecrows and enjoy open gardens plus arts trail.

Trawden village, 01282 852851


Mayor of Whitworth’s Civic Sunday

Civic Sunday procession and service. The procession starts at 2pm from the corner of Market Street and Tong Lane to Our Lady and St Anselm’s RC Church via Millfold for a church service at 2.30pm. The procession will be led by the Whitworth Vale and Healey Brass Band and will feature members of the town’s uniformed organisations, other civic dignitaries, friends and family of the Mayor members of the public.

Whitworth, 01706 252454


Fleetwood Festival of Transport

Also known as Tram Sunday, this one day event is a great day out for all the family with over 200 different classic and vintage vehicles are on display along with fairground rides, stalls selling a wide assortment of goods, live performances and entertainment from Spareparts Arts.

The Esplanade, Fleetwood, 07946 537 950


Blackburn Canal Festival

A fun weekend celebrating the history of the Leeds Liverpool Canal and the important role Eanam Wharf played in the development of Blackburn, packed with dance, music, drama, canal boat trips, tradition and artisan market stalls and a classical concert on Saturday evening.

Eanam Wharf, Blackburn, 01254 699221


The Lytham Hall Classic Car and Motorcycle Show

Get up close to over 250 classic cars and bikes as well as the opportunity to speak to exhibitors.

Lytham Hall, www.markwoodwardclassicevents.com


8th-October 15th

Winifred Nicholson in Cumberland

Exhibition of paintings Winifred Nicholson made in Cumbria where she lived for much of her adult life. The display includes about 45 paintings, many previously unseen from private collections and some of her best loved works.

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, www.abbothall.org.uk

Until August 7th

A Feeling for Landscape

Exhibition in Brantwood’s Severn Studio by local artist Patricia Haskey including sketches, oil paintings and mixed media painting using watercolour, gouache and soft pastel.

Brantwood, Coniston, 015394 41396

Until August 8th

Return Of The Flying Scotsman & Classic Steam

Summer exhibition by photographer Peter Laurence.

Cliftons, Clifton Street, Lytham, 01253 736027

Until September 18th

Francis Bacon: Invisible Rooms

Exhibition of around 30 paintings by this British figurative painter, widely considered the major figure of 20th century art, alongside a group of rarely seen drawings and documents.

Tate Liverpool, www.tate.org.uk

Until October 30th

In A Dream You Saw A Way To Survive An You Were Full Of Joy

Exhibition curated by one of Britain’s most thoughtful and original artists, Elizabeth Price. In this highly innovative exhibition she will stage an austere melodrama, encompassing a vast repertoire of images of the reclining or recumbent body.

The Whitworth Gallery, University of Manchester, www.manchester.ac.uk/whitworth

Until May 1, 2017

Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

As we mark the 75th anniversary of the announcement of clothes rationing in Britain, join IWM North for this major exhibition, exploring how fashion survived and even flourished under the strict rules of rationing and how despite the restrictions, austerity did not put an end to creative design or fashionable trends on the British home front.

IWM North, Manchester, www.iwm.org.uk



Symphony at the Tower

In aid of St Catherine’s Hospice. Friday sees Will Young, a worldwide popstar perform, Saturday US blues and rock musician, Joe Banamassa and Sunday, The Symphony Spectacular – a classical Proms-style concert for all the family to enjoy, live orchestra, picnics and fireworks.

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


The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival

In its fifth year there are 23 venues across Greater Manchester participating and hundreds of performances taking place. This multi-venue open access arts festival provides support for all art forms to show their work, creating an arts community, encouraging first time participation in arts production and performances across Greater Manchester.

For performance details see the website www.greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk

5th-August 13th

The Hobbit

The woods and pathways of Williamson Park will become enchanted forests and misty mountains filled with strange and wonderful creatures desperately searching for the lost Ring in The Dukes’ presentation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastical adventure.

Williamson Park, Lancaster, 01524 598500


Great Eccleston and District Agricultural Show

The biggest two day show in the North-West. Some of the best livestock in the country will be in the main ring, along with horses, sheep, pigs, goats and rare breeds. The tractor pull will take place on both days and the show field will be packed with stalls, produce marquees and much more.

The Showground, Great Eccleston, 01995 679204


Kendal Calling

Kendal Calling is an award-winning, innovative, independent festival based in the fabulous

fields of the Lake District. It features huge headliners, notable artists and welcomes new music from a wide selection of genres, such as indie, rock and pop bands. Alongside the music, there is an array of art and entertainment attractions, with fine food and real ale on the menu.

Lowther Deer Park, Penrith, www.kendalcalling.co.uk

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