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Roy Hudd backs comedy drama

Published: 28 July 2019
Reporter: David Upton

Comedian and entertainer Roy Hudd has given his backing to an open-air production close to his heart and coming to Lytham Hall on Lancashire’s Fylde coast.

Comedian and BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Steve Royle will play the lead role in Dan Leno, a Royal Jester, written and produced by Blackpool’s David Slattery-Christy, which comes to the stately venue on August 24. The play is set in a mental asylum and tells the poignant story of the life and death of Victorian music hall superstar Dan Leno.

Roy Hudd, 83, president of the British Music Hall Society, watched Royle and his cast at the Royal Hippodrome in Eastbourne in June and was impressed by the play and the performance.

“This is a play that captures the heart and soul and genius of our greatest Victorian comedian: his triumphs, his sorrows, his unfulfilled dreams and his fulfilled disasters,” he writes in the programme for the forthcoming production. "Steve Royle as Leno is a revelation—a master comic playing a master comic.”

Roy Hudd met up backstage with Steve and his company which includes Andy Cooke, a regular performer with local amdram group The Fylde Coast Players in Eastbourne, one of six venues visited on a nationwide summer tour.

It premièred at last year’s Lytham Festival.

Meanwhile, Blackpool’s Grand Theatre has teamed up with Steve Royle and special guest Russ Brown to create the theatre’s first dedicated summer show for all the family.

Steve Royle’s Comedy Chaos For Kids will run every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout August at 7PM. It promises non-stop fun with comedy, magic, puppets and special surprises.

Steve, a veteran 16-year performer in pantomime at the Grand, has also supported both Peter Kay and Dave Spikey on tour.

Steve said, “it’s an honour to be launching this brand-new show which we hope will be as popular as panto and run year after year. This is as much about local support as entertaining some of the millions of families who visit Blackpool each summer.