What's On in Lancashire and the Lake District in August 2019
PUBLISHED: 10:31 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:31 31 July 2019
Our guide to the best events in and around Lancashire this month.
THEATRE AND DANCE
until Sep 9th
Utopian - Hot Ice Show
A star-studded cast of international ice skating champions from around the world brings a spectacular ice skating show to Blackpool this summer. The show, choreographed by Oula Jaaskelainen, an Olympic athlete promises to bring a world of creative paradise with intricate choreography.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, blackpoolpleasurebeach.com
An Evening with Eric and Ern
From the Olivier nominated duo behind the hugely celebrated and critically acclaimed West End hit comes An Evening of Eric of Ern with Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens with homage of renditions of the famous comedy sketches. Blackpool Grand Theatre, Blackpool, blackpoolgrand.co.uk
Cinderella - A Pantomime
Pendle Productions are renowned for their pantomimes and aim to entertain with their version of Cinderella which takes place outside; remember to cheer for cinders and her prince.
Avenham & Miller Parks, Preston, 0800 7880526
The HandleBards consist of two troupes (one all-male, one all-female) of cycling actors who carry all the necessary set, props and costume to perform extremely energetic, charmingly chaotic and environmentally sustainable Shakespeare plays across the globe and are bringing The Tempest to Lancaster this summer.
Lancaster Castle, Lancaster, thehandlebards.com
Amelie the musical
An adaptation of the much-loved 2001 award-winning film Amélie, will embark on an extensive UK tour this year and feature music by Hem's Daniel Messé.
Opera House, Manchester, atgtickets.com
Theatre in the Park presents Romeo and Juliet
Theatre fans can experience an enchanting outdoor theatre performance in Astley Park's Walled Garden of Romeo and Juliet. Join Heartbreak Productions for this modern outdoor adaptation of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers.
Astley Hall and Park, Chorley, checkoutchorley.com/theatreinthepark-2019
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Taking place in Brantwood's lakeside meadow, Illyria brings this literary classic to life full of cliff hangers, larger than life characters and plenty of laughs for the all the young ones.
Brantwood, Coniston, illyria.uk.com
Wind in the Willows
Interactive theatre company Attic Door Productions will use Leighton Hall's elegant façade and grounds as a stunning backdrop to three outdoor performances of Wind in the Willows. Leighton Hall, Carnforth, leightonhall.co.uk
Stephen Fry - A trilogy: Gods. Heroes. Men.
Stephen Fry takes to the stage in a funny and often personal trilogy of plays with the icon himself telling the world's greatest stories. The Lowry, Salford, thelowry.com
From the heart of Everton's Badge to the grand old lady
Celebrating the extraordinary history of Goodison Park, which has been home to Everton Football Club for 125 years, the popular play comes to the Hanover Street venue and is centred on the Everton Lock-up.
The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, epsteinliverpool.co.uk
MUSIC AND CONCERTS
An established punk music festival which incorporates punk art exhibitions, acoustic stages, poetry, vintage clothing, tattooists, healing workshops with punk bands old and new taking the stage.
Church Street, Blackpool, rebellionfestivals.com
BBC Summer Social
Welcoming over 30,000 visitors across the two days, BBC Summer Social music weekend will include performances from Bustes, Nina Nesbitt and Freya Ridings. There will also be entertainment for children with CBeebies star Mr Tumble is headlining the children's stage on Sunday.
Croxteth Country Park, Liverpool, bbc.co.uk/summersocial
KirkFest is back for its third year and promises to be bigger and better than the last, bringing more entertainment and more music for everyone to enjoy.
Kirkham Memorial Park, Kirkham, 01772 368020
Enjoy an established feature of the Northern Soul Circuit in the North West. Soul Nights are hosted by Northern Soul and Motown DJs Roman, Ginger Taylor and Shaun Fitton, plus special guests. Muni Theatre, Colne, themuni.co.uk
Elvis Remembered takes you through the career of the King of Rock n Roll, Elvis Presley from the hits of the 50s & 60s to the concert shows of the 70s.
Blackburn Empire Theatre, blackburnempire.com
Following their sell out tour across the UK last year, The Proclaimers will be back on the road with their appealing pop, folksy and new wave sound.
Winter Gardens, Blackpool, 01253625252
Returning to the seaside resort, this popular music festival will see performances from Lauryn Hill who will be headlining the stage on Saturday. There will also be a range of comedians taking the stage include Jason Manford.
The Tower Headlands Arena, Blackpool,livewirefestival.co.uk
Morecambe Live Weekender
The Morecambe Live Weekender kicks off the fantastic summer season and will feature 90s, 00s and 10s Tribute artists plus the very best local bands and singers.
Marine Road West, Morecambe, 01524 582808
A night at the opera
Performances of opera favourites at the church by Encore Opera Group with explanations of each solo, duet and choral piece. Tickets are £10 and include refreshments.
St Ambrose Church, Grindleton, 01200 441551
Bringing the biggest music stars to the heart of Liverpool, Fusion Festival is set to be an incredible weekend of music with the line-up including Little Mix, Rudimental and Anne-Marie.
Sefton Park, Liverpool, thefusionfestival.co.uk
COUNTY DAYS OUT
The Garstang Show
This event showcases the best in farming, horticulture and rural life with displays, food halls, craft stalls and a range of local food and drink. There is also a range of competitions for farm animals and entertainment from the Bull Dogs Lings FMX Team.
The Garstang Showfield, Garstang, garstangshow.org.
Manchester Pride Festival
The internationally renowned pride weekend will feature Grammy winner and honorary Mancunian, Ariana Grande at the new Manchester Pride Live event at Mayfield and will be joined by British synth-pop band Years and Years.
Mayfield, Fairfield Street, manchesterpride.com/festival
The grounds of Lytham Hall will host a huge display of classic cars, from Austin Sevens to Land Rovers, plus motorcycles, light commercials, classic 4x4's and ex-military vehicles. Admission is £7 per adult and £2.50 for children and includes free parking, full access to the park, gardens and historic stable-yard tearoom, with house tours available.
Lytham Hall, Lytham, lythamhall.org.uk
Make My Day
A free family festival with an array of artistic activities on offer such as explosive painting, game shows and musical entertainment in order to fill the park with community creations.
West End Gardens, Morecambe, makemyday.org.uk
Caribbean Carnival of Manchester
Bringing Caribbean culture to the forefront, this festival is the North West's largest celebration of Caribbean music and carnival arts with a selection of music, dance, theatre and costume.
Alexandra Park, Manchester, themanchestercarnival.com
Lytham 1940s Wartime Weekend
The 1940s Wartime period brought to life with live entertainment, re-enactments with a range of historic vehicles, static aircraft, music and dance, memorabilia stalls on offer. There will also be educational talks and demonstrations plus a living history camp. The Green, Lytham, 01253 658 442
Spend a weekend tasting over 20 guest ales, ciders and imported beer. The weekend will also have live music. Tickets are £10 and include a festival glass and two beers.
Blackburn Golf Club, Blackburn, 01254 51122
Taste of Leyland
Experience the town's third annual culinary offering which will embrace everything from Japanese and Chinese cuisine through to dishes from India and Mexico as well as a mobile pizza kitchen. There will even be a chance to sample bespoke beer, Truck Trail Ale, which has been specially brewed to mark the success of its namesake by Crankshaft Brewery.
Balfour Street, Leyland, visitleyland.co.uk/whats-on
The Great British Food Festival
The Great British Food Festival is thrilled to be returning to the stunning Stonyhurst College, over the August Bank Holiday. Expect tantalising street food, artisan producers, chef demos and plenty of entertainment.
Stonyhurst College, Clitheroe, greatbritishfoodfestival.com
Bank holiday Steamings
Volunteers have rescued and restored 30 old stationary steam engines - some of the engines once powered the cotton mills and woollen mills of the north of England. With the oldest engine being 180 years old and others well over 100 years old, most will be running in steam for these two days only.
Bolton Steam Museum, Bolton, nmes.org
Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud
Taking place during the 200th anniversary of John Ruskin's birthday, this is the largest show and will include more than 135 works and stretch across six galleries. The exhibition features watercolours, drawings and a portrait of Ruskin from the National Portrait Gallery, made in the aftermath of his first serious mental illness.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Cumbria, abbothall.org.uk/exhibitions/Ruskin-Turner
Landscape - A visionary approach
A joint exhibition of Patricia Haskey a painter, and Mike Shepherd a photographer whose pieces of work share a love of nature and visionary approach, in how they both interpret the Lake District landscape.
Brantwood, Coniston, brantwood.org.uk
The Way of all Flesh
British sculptor Jamie Frost brings wood to life in his exhibition where the tradition of wood carving is seen is his expressive and captivating life-size sculptures.
The exhibition centres around three major works, shown alongside numerous smaller sculptures, and a selection of supporting drawings. u
House Gallery, Astley Hall, Chorley, astleypark.co.uk
OUR SUPER SIX
Agricultural shows have been at the heart of the Lancashire summer for generations. And it is as important now to celebrate the people who grow our food as it has ever been. The first Garstang Show was held in 1809 when agricultural and horticultural displays would have been the main events. These days they compete for your attention with a food hall, craft stalls, trade stands, live music, children's entertainment and a programme of events in the main ring that ranges from falconry to motorcycle stunts.
Stonyhurst Literature and Film Festival
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a pupil and JRR Tolkien was a regular visitor, so it was only a matter of time before Stonyhurst College launched a Literature and Film Festival. The event will premiere this month with appearances by - among many others - Simon Callow and Dr Adam Kay. There will be seminars, discussions, workshops and the chance to ask authors all those questions you need answers to.
The Stonyhurst Collections and Old Chapel Museum will be open so you'll be able to see some of their treasures - think Shakespeare's First Folio and first editions of classics such as Oliver Twist, Through the Looking-Glass and Brideshead Revisited. The festival will close with an open-air screening of the Oscar-winning film 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in the college grounds.
Stonyhurst headmaster John Browne said: 'Stonyhurst's fascinating history makes it the perfect setting for what we hope will be the finest Literature and Film Festival in the north of England.'
Lytham 1940s weekend
For much of the year you know what to expect from Lytham - a pleasant town full of bars, cafes, shops and coastal views. But for one weekend every summer it is taken back to the 1940s. Vera Lynn's songs drift across the Green, until they are drowned out by the sounds of a battle taking place in the shadow of the windmill. A convoy of military vehicles circles the town, Churchill poses for selfies, aircraft engines roar and the whole town gets involved. Cafes and shops tape up their windows, staff dress up and you can find yourself waiting to cross the road next to German officers, American servicemen and a woman wearing a vintage dress, fur stole and a line of eyebrow pencil down the back of her legs (at least we think she was in costume). It's a wonderful immersive experience and a great excuse to dress up.
Great Eccleston tractor pulling
There are those who think a tractor pulling a heavy weight across a field shouldn't be a spectator sport - it's what tractors are supposed to do isn't it? - but those people should go to Great Eccleston.
Ever since tractor pulling was added to the village show there in 1979 it has been a huge hit. Back then they were normal enough tractors, but now the tractor pulling championships is a weekend event in its own right. And the vehicles are incredible - 9,000 horse power souped up creations with spoilers, aircraft engines and rocket boosters (ok, maybe not rocket boosters). It calls itself the world's most powerful motorsport. And we're not going to argue - picture Wacky Races meeting Formula One in a Top Gear presenter's dream.
The tractors pull huge weights along a 100 metre track and are cheered on by enthusiastic crowds who love the noise, the fumes, the drama and the tension.
It really is one of those events - like gravy wrestling or black pudding throwing - that you have to see once. And when you have, you'll probably want to go back. nwtpc.co.uk
Rhythm and Blues Festival
The 30th Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne will feature more than 170 acts on 22 stages around the town over three days. In the last couple of years organisers say they've had about 20,000 people in the town to enjoy what they call 'Europe's ultimate contemporary blues festival'.
As well as the ticketed shows there will be street entertainment, workshops, food and a friendly welcoming atmosphere.
Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On
What links George Formby, The Muppets, Frank Bruno and Geri Halliwell? Now, now, don't be rude.
They're all among the star names who have switched on Blackpool's Illuminations.
The Lights have been dazzling visitors since 1879 (when Lord Derby flicked the switch) and there are now more than a million blubs along a 10km stretch of prom.
In recent years the LightPool Festival has added a new dimension, with art installations around the town and projections onto Blackpool Tower.
As we went to press the identity of this year's switch on star had not been revealed but the Illuminations will be turned on during a party on the Prom featuring music by Busted, Nina Nesbitt and Sigma on August 30. The Lights will shine until November 3. u