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Catch Dirty Dancing - at Blackpool Opera House You've just got time to catch the brand new production of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage - over this Bank Holiday weekend.



What's on at the Winter Gardens

There's a great variety of shows, events and entertainment for all the family at Blackpool Winter Gardens. Read on to find out what's coming in the following months.

You can find more details for all of the events at the Winter Gardens in the Events Calendar at this link.



August at the Winter Gardens

11-30 Aug - Dirty Dancing - Extra tickets added!

Dirty Dancing UK Tour at Winter Gardens Blackpool

You've just got time to catch the brand new production of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage

Blackpool Opera House has hosted the hit show for almost three weeks from the beginning of the brand new touring production on August 11.


This new tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is the first time the show has come to Blackpool and follows two blockbuster West End runs, two hit UK tours, and various sensational international productions.

The show is the classic story of Baby and Johnny, featuring the hit songs 'Hungry Eyes', ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the heart stopping ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.

This new tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is the first time the show has come to Blackpool and follows two blockbuster West End runs, two hit UK tours, and various sensational international productions.

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage will play at Blackpool Opera House from Thursday 11 to Tuesday August 30. 



September at the Winter Gardens

3 Sep - Nickelodeon's Slime Fest

Nickelodeons Slime Fest at Blackpool Winter Gardens

3 Sep from 11am - Presented by: Nickelodeon

It’s time for SLIME!

Launched in Australia in 2012, Nickelodeon’s SLIMEFEST is a family-friendly music festival, featuring stars, stunts, DJs, live performances and TONNES of Nickelodeon’s trademark green slime.

The first UK edition of SLIMEFEST will be an immersive music and entertainment festival focusing on kids aged four to 15, and includes two live, identical SLIMEFEST shows taking place at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Saturday 3 September.

Throughout the weekend, on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September, the event also features an outdoor festival experience with costume character appearances, hands-on activities, games and music for the whole family to enjoy at the nearby Tower Festival Headland on Blackpool Promenade.

The SLIMEFEST events form part of the world-famous Blackpool Illuminations Switch-On Weekend. Further packages include tickets to a live SLIMEFEST show, along with a guaranteed place at Blackpool’s Illuminations Switch-On event on Friday 2 September. And, a bundled price for a trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach/Nickelodeon Land too.

Highlights from SLIMEFEST in Blackpool will be broadcast on Nickelodeon later in September.

Tickets will sell fast, so don’t miss out on the ultimate family day. Get ready for SLIME, MUSIC and MAYHEM!



12-16 Sep - ABSENT

Absent at Blackpool Winter Gardens

12 to 16 September
25 to 29 September


Take a journey through the hidden spaces of Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens to explore the bygone splendour of its glorious past before it is redeveloped by a modern property development company.

In 1958 a young woman wins the jackpot on the Premium Bonds and celebrates by checking into the exclusive Pavilion Suite at the fashionable Winter Gardens Hotel.

Over 50 years later, she is still living there.

Now the new owners of the building say they are redeveloping the hotel to make it more affordable for working people, creating jobs and prosperity. They have a reputation to maintain and they want her out.

But what are they really up to? What’s really going on inside the once darkened corridors and faded interiors of this mysterious hotel?

Above all, who is this enigmatic woman and why has she been there for so long?

Travelling in small groups at your own pace, ABSENT takes you on a theatrical journey along a maze of rooms and corridors that are inexplicably transforming before your very eyes. Mixing film, architecture and vast model-making installations with a haunting soundtrack, you will enter a kaleidoscopic world that shifts between Blackpool’s past, present and future to create a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

You’ll never look at the Winter Gardens in the same way again; you’ll never look at Blackpool in the same way again.

Tour times vary, select the date you wish to attend – The booking page will allow you to select a specific time slot.



14 Sept - The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ Concert

Wurlitzer at Blackpool Winter Gardens

Wednesday 14 Sept, doors open at 1.30 for a 2pm start

Price(s): £6.00

Join us at the Winter Gardens as Nigel Ogden plays the Opera House Wurlitzer

BBC Radio Two’s NIGEL OGDEN at the Wonder Wurlitzer, Blackpool Opera House.
The son of a church organist, Nigel Ogden studied piano for a number of years before commencing study of the pipe organ at the age of 12.
He became hooked on the sound of the theatre organ during his childhood, where his family took many trips to Blackpool, often going to the Tower Ballroom to hear the legandary Reginald Dixon at the Mighty Wurlitzer.
He is now well known as the presenter of the BBC Radio 2’s The Organist Entertains, which he has been presenting now for 36 years!
When not in the radio studio, Nigel can often be found in churches, cathedrals, and theatre organ venues across the UK, playing concerts of light classical, light popular and popular music.

Tickets are £6 from the box office.



17 Sep - The Classic Rock Tribute Show

Classic Rock Tribute Show at Blackpool Winter Gardens

17 September at 7pm

A classic show for a classic venue, Blackpool’s Winter Gardens Arena hosts a tribute to three of the world’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll bands; Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and AC/DC. Featuring the UK’s finest Led Zeppelin tribute act ‘Letz Zep’ plus the Anglo-Spanish tribute ‘Deeper Purple’ with local tribute band ‘AC/BC’ in support. With a 2 am bar with specialist rock DJ to rock the night away in this Grade 2 listed entertainment complex.

Guaranteed to take you back to the classic 1970s with memories of a ‘Child in Time’ where “The Song Remains The Same’, so if you like your music loud and proud it’s time to ‘Let There Be Rock’ at the Classic Rock Tribute Show.



19-24 Sep - Footloose: The Musical

Gareth Gates in Footloose at Blackpool Winter Gardens - Credit David Ellis for Boom Ents
Gareth Gates in Footloose at Blackpool Winter Gardens - Credit David Ellis for Boom Ents

19 to 24 September, shows at 7.30pm and 2.30pm matinee on 21 and 24 Sept

Kick off your Sunday shoes and cut loose as the explosive rock ‘n’ roll musical sensation Footloose bursts onto the UK stage in a remastered show sure to get your toes tapping.

Based on the 1980s hit film that took the world by storm, Footloose the musical sizzles with the same spirit of youth, rebellion and romance.

City boy Ren thinks his life is over when he is forced to move to Bomont, an American rural backwater. But things are far worse than he could have ever imagined, as the town bans dancing. It isn’t long before Ren can’t resist breaking the rules, and he’s not alone.

Starring Gareth Gates as Willard and Maureen Nolan as Vi Moore, enjoy the best in UK musical talent, cutting-edge choreography and classic hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let’s Hear It ForThe Boy and the unforgettable title track, Footloose.

Produced by the award winning team at Sell A Door Theatre Company – producers of Avenue Q and American Idiot.

Footloose is back and it’s better than ever before!



20 Sep - Winter Gardens Heritage Tours

Heritage Tours Blackpool Winter Gardens

20 September at 11.15am

Join us and learn about the fascinating and evolving story that is the internationally famous Grade II* Winter Gardens with an experienced, Knowledgeable and thoroughly entertaining tour guide.

One of Blackpool’s most memorable and well-loved tours; from the Opera House to the Pavilion Theatre, prepare to be amazed as you are guided through the Floral Hall and into a jewel box of architectural styles, you will promenade through social history from the Victorians to the present day.



25-29 Sep - ABSENT

Absent at Blackpool Winter Gardens

25 to 29 September


Take a journey through the hidden spaces of Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens to explore the bygone splendour of its glorious past before it is redeveloped by a modern property development company.

In 1958 a young woman wins the jackpot on the Premium Bonds and celebrates by checking into the exclusive Pavilion Suite at the fashionable Winter Gardens Hotel.

Over 50 years later, she is still living there.

Now the new owners of the building say they are redeveloping the hotel to make it more affordable for working people, creating jobs and prosperity. They have a reputation to maintain and they want her out.

But what are they really up to? What’s really going on inside the once darkened corridors and faded interiors of this mysterious hotel?

Above all, who is this enigmatic woman and why has she been there for so long?

Travelling in small groups at your own pace, ABSENT takes you on a theatrical journey along a maze of rooms and corridors that are inexplicably transforming before your very eyes. Mixing film, architecture and vast model-making installations with a haunting soundtrack, you will enter a kaleidoscopic world that shifts between Blackpool’s past, present and future to create a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

You’ll never look at the Winter Gardens in the same way again; you’ll never look at Blackpool in the same way again.

Tour times vary, select the date you wish to attend – The booking page will allow you to select a specific time slot.



26 Sept-1 Oct - The Rocky Horror Show

See the Rocky Horror Show at Blackpool Winter Gardens

26 September to 1 October, shows at 5.30, 8 and 8.30pm


Following the global cinema and TV release of the LIVE West End broadcast which hit No1 in the UK Box office charts, this new 2016 tour of Richard O’Brien’s classic continues to smash records in theatres across the country.

Bursting at the seams with timeless classics, including Sweet Transvestite, Damn it Janet, and of course, the pelvic-thrusting Time Warp, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show is a non-stop party!

Be warned, this show has rude parts!



October at the Winter Gardens

3-15 Oct - GHOST the Musical

GHOST the Musical at Winter Gardens

GHOST is a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Walking back to their apartment one night, Sam and Molly are mugged, leaving Sam murdered on a dark street. Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next and unable to leave Molly who he learns is in grave danger. With the help of a phony storefront psychic, Oda Mae Brown, Sam tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving and protecting her. 
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film of 1990, GHOST won numerous awards worldwide and is one of the biggest grossing films in the UK. It starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg and was directed by Jerry Zucker. Bruce Joel Rubin's script won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Whoopi Goldberg won the Oscar® for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film's iconic love scene at a potter's wheel was famously performed to The Righteous Brother's Unchained Melody



16 Oct - Blackpool Freestyle Championship

Dance Championships

Sunday 16th October

The British Freestyle Championships covers Solos, Premier Championships, Teams, Slowdance and Couples/Pairs.

The Championships will take place in the beautiful Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens.

Entries in advance to:

Team Entries to be received by Friday, 23rd September.




19 Oct - 3 Nov - SHOUT! 

The sounds of the 60s will be well and truly heard in Blackpool as hit jukebox musical SHOUT! heads to the resort this autumn.

Shout! the Musical at Blackpool Winter Gardens

This smashing revue tracks five groovy gals as they come of age during those liberating days that made England swing, and with a packed soundtrack of some of the biggest hits from the 60s SHOUT! promises a fantastic family show when it comes to Blackpool Opera House from October 19 to November 03.

Tickets are on sale priced from £15.

SHOUT! flips through the years like a musical magazine and takes you back to the music, fashion and freedom of the 60’s with hits from the likes of Petula Clark, Lulu and Dusty Springfield. Using letters to an advice columnist, true confessions, quizzes and advertisements SHOUT! boasts terrific new arrangements of such chart-topping hits as “To Sir With Love,” “Downtown,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “Son of A Preacher Man,” and “Goldfinger.”

With its irresistible blend of hip-swivelling hits, eye-popping fashions and psychedelic dances from the 60’s, this fun-filled musical will make you want to throw your head back and SHOUT!

SHOUT! is presented by Peter Frosdick who most recently produced both A Christmas Carol and Tommy The Rock Opera at Blackpool Opera House.

Suzanne Shaw in Shout Musical at Blackpool Winter Gardens

West End, TV and former pop star Suzanne Shaw is to lead the cast in the hit jukebox musical SHOUT! when it heads to Blackpool this autumn.

Suzanne’s big break came when she auditioned for the ITV show Popstars, and subsequently won a place in the newly-formed pop band, Hear’say. She has since gone on to carve a very successful career in musical theatre having performed in countless West End and touring productions since 2003.

Suzanne will be playing Red Girl in SHOUT! Speaking about her role Suzanne said:I'm really excited to be joining the cast of SHOUT! the musical. The 60's was a brilliant era and a landmark decade for the music industry so I can't wait to perform such classic hits and enjoy a night of nostalgia with the audiences in Blackpool! It's always great performing back in my home county!"

Joining Suzanne on stage will be Atomic Kitten and musical theatre star Liz McClarnon as Green Girl and former X-Factor finalist and musical theatre star Niki Evans as Orange Girl.

Liz added: "I'm really looking forward to spending more time in Blackpool and playing such a fun/cheeky character.

SHOUT! will run at Blackpool Opera House from Wednesday October 19 to Thursday November 3. Tickets are on sale now priced from £15. 



22-25 Oct - Blackpool Sequence Dance Festival

Sequence Dance Festival

Saturday 22nd to Tuesday 25th October 2016, starts at 10am

The Blackpool Sequence Dance Festival covers Classical, Modern and Latin Sequence Dancing. The format has changed over the years and 2009 saw the 60th anniversary of the Championships held in the Empress Ballroom, Winter Gardens.

The Festival takes on two separate events, the Children’s and Adult’s dancing. The Saturday is devoted to the children who dance in various competitions. The Adult’s dance on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The Inventive Dance competition is on the Monday with the Winning Dances being taught on the Tuesday morning. The British Sequence Championships are held on all three evenings.

There is plenty of opportunity for social dancing in-between the competitions and also on Sunday and Tuesday afternoon.



27 Oct - The Specials

Specials at Blackpool Winter Gardens

27 October at 7pm

When The Specials reformed in 2008 for a one off surprise performance at the Bestival Festival few would have banked on the band still playing to huge audiences around the world in 2016, but they are with a new tour booked for October and November and plans for the future. Following the terribly sad loss of drummer and founder member John Bradbury suddenly in December 2015 the band have decided to carry on and continue to fill dancehalls and inspire fans young and old.

With the first tour in 2009 selling out immediately and more dates hurriedly added it was obvious there was a massive demand to see this iconic band who only released two albums in their short career but were one of the most influential groups in UK musical history.
Hailing from the industrial city of Coventry, this multi-racial seven-piece combined the angry, disaffected voice of punk with the wind-your-waist sensibility of ska and reggae to re-define pop music and make Britain dance again. A mercurial two and a half years later and it was all over, leaving behind seven top ten singles (two of which went to No.1) and two top five genre-defining albums. Their first single, ‘Gangsters’, released on their own 2tone label in 1979, was their calling card and ‘Ghost Town’, their swan song, encapsulated the political mood in Britain. In between was a larger-than-life reputation for killer sweat-drenched live shows and an attitude that walked like it talked.

Since they reformed 30 years later, The Specials have performed at over 200 shows worldwide including (deep breath): Coachella / Live on the Letterman Show (US), Summersonic / Fiji Rocks (Japan), Benecassim (Spain), Lalapalooza Festival, (Chile), Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), Bluesfest Byron Bay (Australia) as well as countless other worldwide event. In the UK they closed the Olympic Games festival in Hyde Park, played Glastonbury, Isle of Wight Festival amongst others and had several sold out tours.



29-30 Oct - Blackpool Creatives Fair

Blackpool Creatives Fair at Winter Gardens

Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October

Blackpool Creatives fair returns to the iconic surroundings of the Winter Gardens with the best Art,Craft and Vintage all with style. The only Fair of its kind in North West England.

Arrested ReDevelopoment brings great design and inventive creatives alongside superb vintage items all under the one roof and over two days, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October

Opening times are from 11.00-5.00. on Saturday and 11.00.-4.00 on Sunday

For more Information e-mail: or Tel: 07715 047777


November at the Winter Gardens

14-19 Nov - The Shawshank Redemption

New Stage Production - Heads to Blackpool Opera House

Shawshank Redemption at Winter Gardens Blackpool

Oscar nominated film The Shawshank Redemption is to become a new stage play in a production visiting Blackpool Opera House this year.

Based on the short novel by Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption is regularly voted as Britain’s favourite movie ever. And now West End theatre and film producer Bill Kenwright is to bring a new production of the play, which examines desperation, injustice, friendship and hope, to the stage.

The Shawshank Redemption will run at Blackpool Opera House from 14 – 19 November.

Tickets go on sale from 10am Wednesday February 24 and are available from

The production celebrates 22 years since the release of the 1994 movie starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins and is adapted by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns and directed by David Esbjornson.

Winter Gardens Managing Director Michael Williams said: “We are very excited about The Shawshank Redemption coming to the Blackpool Opera House. This is a completely different kind of production for us but one we are sure will be incredibly popular.

“Millions of people have enjoyed this classic film over the years and it is now time to see it transferred to the stage in what is sure to be a truly fantastic production.”

Based on the 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption, the play examines desperation, injustice, friendship and hope behind the claustrophobic bars of a maximum security facility. The 1994 feature film, regularly voted Britain’s favourite ever movie, was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

Despite protests of his innocence, Andy Dufresne is handed a double life sentence for the brutal murder of his wife and her lover. Incarcerated at the notorious Shawshank facility, he quickly learns that no one can survive alone. Andy strikes up an unlikely friendship with the prison fixer Red, and things take a slight turn for the better. However, when Warden Stammas decides to bully Andy into subservience and exploit his talents for accountancy, a desperate plan is quietly hatched.

Tickets to see The Shawshank Redemption at Blackpool Opera House are priced from £14 



December at the Winter Gardens

10 Dec - 7 Jan - Great Expectations

Great Expectations at Blackpool Winter Gardens

Book this show before 30 September for a chance to WIN Chritmas, a prize package worth over £3000 – Click here to find out more

Hit musical and classic story Great Expectations is to be added to the 2016 season at Blackpool Winter Gardens.

The Charles Dickens’ classic will mark the Opera House’s Christmas season for 2016 running from Saturday December 10 to Saturday January 7.

Produced by Peter Frosdick, who  also produced the 2015 festive production of A Christmas Carol.

With the opening scenes on Christmas Eve, Great Expectations begins with escaped convict Magwitch being pursued by soldiers. As Young Pip appears through the mist he encounters the gross Magwitch and so begins the tangled tale of the young gentleman, the beautiful Estelle, the jilted Miss Havisham and of course, the convict.

With a spectacular musical score the audience will follow Pip and his great expectation as he journeys through life and hardship to eventually find love in the arms of the woman who has had him spellbound since childhood.



2017 at the Winter Gardens

3-5 Feb 2017 - Winter Gardens Film Festival

Blackpool's very own film festival is set to be bigger than ever in 2017 - announcing a new competition for talented amateur movie-makers.

Blackpool Winter Gardens Film Festival 2017

Following the success of this year's event the Winter Gardens Film Festival returns to the iconic venue from 3rd to 5th February 2017 and will include a short film competition offering a first prize of £500 and a new award, The Golden Seagull.

Festival director, Catherine Mugonyi, "We are delighted to launch this inaugural competition as part of the Festival and hope it will soon become an established and coveted title among the film community. As well as the winning film and the runner-up chosen by our panel there will also be a "people's choice" award voted for by the audience viewing the entries. The Festival is now very much part of the Winter Gardens events calendar and the new elements will also raise the profile further afield. We also want Blackpool people to be involved at every stage and would love to hear from anyone who could volunteer before and during the event, even if it's just for a few hours"

Catharine Des Forges, director of the Independent Cinema Office said, ‘The Winter Gardens Film Festival is just the kind of project we get excited about at the ICO. The festival is responding to a real desire for the whole world of film to be available in Blackpool. It’s an incredible venue and the programme shows that there’s more to film than blockbusters. It’s been really satisfying to see the project go from an idea pitched in our Practical Programming course to sell out success.’

All entries can be submitted to the Winter Gardens Film Festival page on the Film Freeway website, where the full conditions of entry are listed. Entries into the competition must be black & white, fitting in with the Festival's unique theme. The completed films should be no longer than 20 minutes and can be a narrative, documentary or music video on any theme or subject. The deadline for submissions to the competition is 31 October 2016 at 5pm and the entry fee is £10 per film or £8 for entries from an FY1 to FY8 postcode.

Entries will be shortlisted and shown over the weekend to the paying audience and the judging panel in the wonderful Opera House at the Winter Gardens. Built in 1939 as a cine-variety theatre, combining a super cinema with a world class stage for theatrical performance, the venue's capacity of just under 3000 makes it the second largest theatre in the UK. More recently a permanent HD surround-sound cinema projection system has been installed among the Art Deco luxury giving a real sense of 1930's Hollywood glamour to the event.

The Festival is presented by the Winter Gardens Trust and Blackpool based arts group Aunty Social supported by Blackpool Council and the Winter Gardens venue management.

The full programme of films and events will be announced over the coming months ahead of the event and will include exclusive and classic screenings, talks, social events and much more. Further Information and volunteering enquiries can be found at or searching for Winter Gardens Film Festival on Facebook.


10-15 April 2017 - WONDERLAND

Following sold out seasons in Tampa, Texas and Tokyo, the multi Grammy, Tony and Drama Desk Award nominated Frank Wildhorn’s Wonderland receives its UK and European première in this brand new British production.

Wonderland Musical at Blackpool Winter Gardens

Wonderland is an enchanting musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, with a huge heart, a medley of magic and a whole lot of wonder.

Here a timely and touching story of love in all its forms, it’s an adventurous exploration of who we are, who we want to be and the power of everyday magic in our lives. 

In the tradition of the best stage musicals, Wonderland boasts a catchy score full of songs by Frank Wildhorn, writer of pop hits including Whitney Houston’s ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go?’ and theatre classics including ‘This is the Moment’ from his internationally acclaimed show, Jekyll & Hyde.



16-18 June 2017 - Blackpool International Soul Festival - Back Again!

Blackpool International Soul Festival 2017


Blackpool’s International Soul Festival is to become an annual event. 2016 saw the appearance of the first ever Blackpool International Soul Festival when a stellar line-up of North American and Modern soul artists delighted thousands of music fans at the town’s Winter Gardens during the three-day event.

And now organiser Richard Searling is working with the Winter Gardens team to organise next year’s instalment.

More than 2,500 fans enjoyed live music from American soul icons Bettye Lavette, Gerri Granger, Harold ‘Bobby’ Hutton and Dee Dee Sharp in the Empress Ballroom which was transformed into the Festival’s main stage, while 200 scooters took part in a rally in St John’s Square and the Pavilion Theatre played host to a Q&A session with Motown’s first A+R man Mickey Stevenson.

Six rooms throughout the Winter Gardens complex gave festival goers the chance to immerse themselves in a plethora of different musical styles including Soulful Jazz and Dance, Northern Soul all-nighters, Mod and Ska and Luxury Soul.

For shoppers a ‘Northern Department Store’ offered the chance to pick up some autographed commemorative 45s, vintage clothing, rare records, official patches and other merchandise in a wonderland of Soul memorabilia.

The second Blackpool International Soul Festival takes place Friday 16 to Sunday 18 June 2017 and tickets are now on sale with a special early bird discount, subject to availability.


  • Early Bird: £35 (offer ends 30 September, booking fee applies)
  • VIP tickets: £75 (booking fee applies, strictly limited)


4-8 July 2017 - UK Tour of The Wedding Singer

Step back in time and get ready for the biggest party in town as a sparkling new production of The Wedding Singer is heading to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens for one week only next summer.

The Wedding Singer at Blackpool Winter Gardens

Jon Robyns, Ray Quinn, Cassie Compton, Roxanne Pallett and Ruth Madoc will star in the hilarious musical based on the hit film.

The Wedding Singer will play Blackpool Opera House from Tuesday July 4 to Saturday July 8 2017. Tickets priced from £15 are on sale now.


It’s 1985. Hair is huge, greed is good and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart is New Jersey's favourite wedding singer. When his own fiancée dumps him at the altar a seriously bummed out Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own.

Can sweet natured Julia and her best friend Holly lure Robbie out of the dumpster and back into the limelight?  Or is he going to see her head off down the aisle with Wall Street bad boy Glen. Only Grandma Rosie seems to be able to see that Robbie and Julia are the couple that are meant to be.

Winter Gardens Managing Director Michael Williams said: “This is a great announcement for 2017. The Wedding Singer promises to be an absolutely fantastic show and we are thrilled the Opera House will be part of the UK tour.

“The show has a really strong cast with Ruth, Roxanne and Ray all having strong Blackpool links having previously performed here so we look forward to welcoming them back as well as offering a warm welcome to all their fellow cast members.

“We are absolutely packed with hit musical theatre shows at the Winter Gardens during 2016. The Wedding Singer is just the second show to be announced for 2017 with many more exciting announcements to come soon.”

West End and Musical Theatre star Jon Robyns plays Robbie Hart. Most recently he starred in Legally Blonde as Emmett Forrest, other theatre credits include Enjolras in Les Misérables, Spamalot, Memphis and Avenue Q.

He is joined on stage by British singer-songwriter Ray Quinn as Glen who shot to fame as the runner-up in ITV1’s The X Factor in 2006 and as champion of Dancing on Ice in 2009. In 2014 he won Dancing on Ice: Champion of Champions. His theatre credits include Danny Zuko in Grease (West End), Dirty Dancing (West End) and Legally Blonde (UK Tour).

West End leading lady and X Factor finalist Cassie Compton plays Julia; her roles include Sabrina in American Psycho (Almeida, London) and Eponine in Les Misérables. Playing best friend Holly, Roxanne Pallett is perhaps best known for her long-standing role as Jo in ITV’s Emmerdale. She has also appeared in Waterloo Road and Casualty on screen and in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Vagina Monologues and John Godber’s On The Piste on stage.

No stranger to stage and screen, comedy veteran Ruth Madoc joins the company as Grandma Rosie. Ruth became a household name in the Eighties when she played Gladys Pugh in BBC comedy series Hi-De-Hi! More recently we’ve seen her on screen in ITV’s Benidorm, Mount Pleasant (Sky) and Stella (Sky). Samuel Holmes (Mrs Henderson Presents, West End) will play George. Further casting is to be announced.

The Wedding Singer 2017 UK Tour is Directed and Choreographed by Nick Winston. Set and Costumes are by Francis O’Connor. Musical Supervision is by Sarah Travis with Musical Direction and Orchestration by George Dyer. Lighting Design is by Ben Cracknell with Sound Design by Richard Brooker. Video Design is by Jack Henry James and Casting by Jim Arnold. The Wedding Singer is produced by Dan Looney, Paulden Hall Productions, Tom O’Connell and Jason Haigh-Ellery.

Don’t miss your chance to join the party of the year – with a musical that promises to get you up dancing faster than your Dad at a wedding, The Wedding Singer is packed with songs which capture all the fun and energy of the Adam Sandler smash hit film.

The Wedding Singer plays Blackpool Opera House from July 4 to July 8 2017. BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE


22-27 Aug 2017 - Sister Act is Coming to Blackpool’s Opera House 

Craig Revel Horwood and Alexandra Burke, Sister Act at Blackpool Opera House

The brand new production of Sister Act will star X-Factor winner and musical theatre star Alexandra Burke in the lead role of Deloris Van Cartier.

So, book your tickets here now and get back in the habit!

Sister Act will run at the Blackpool Opera House from Tuesday August 22 to Sunday August 27 2017 and tickets are on sale now.

Winter Gardens Managing Director Michael Williams said Sister Act is the perfect addition to the 2017 calendar.

Mr Williams said: “This is great news for Blackpool and the Opera House to have secured Sister Act in the middle of the 2017 summer season.

“The film is loved by millions and this new adaptation for the stage show should be a real treat for our audiences.

“We have already announced a number of shows for 2017 and are particularly excited to be welcoming not only the smash hit that is Sister Act, but also Alexandra Burke.”

This reimagined stage show of the hit film will be directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing judge and Blackpool favourite Craig Revel Horwood.

Based on the smash hit movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie Smith, SISTER ACT tells the hilarious story of Deloris Van Cartier, a disco diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder. Under protective custody she is hidden in the one place she won’t be found – a convent! Disguised as a nun and under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own.

Alexandra Burke rose to fame when she won the fifth series of X-Factor and since then has supported the likes of Beyonce on tour as well as appearing in the lead role in the stage adaptation of The Bodyguard.

At the matinee performances, the role of Deloris Van Cartier will be played by Joanna Francis. Joanna Francis has recently finished performing in the West End production of The Lion King. Her other credits include Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall, The Harder They Come” at the Barbican and Stratford East and as Sybil in The Big Life at the Apollo Theatre.


Winter Gardens Wins Share of £3m Restoration Funding

Blackpool Winter Gardens has won £50,000 funding from the Government to help restore the historic Pavilion Theatre.

Pavilion Theatre inside Blackpool Winter Gardens

The 137-year-old theatre was placed on the Theatre’s Trust’s ‘At Risk’ register in 2014 – an indication of the vital need for investment to protect the venue’s long-term future.

Communities Minister Brandon Lewis today announced the Pavilion Theatre – part of the world famous Grade II* Winter Gardens building – is among 77 projects across Great Britain to receive a share of £3 million coastal revival funding.

The £50,000 granted to Blackpool Winter Gardens will be used to restore the walls of the Pavilion Theatre which is the proposed location for the Blackpool Museum.

Created as a concert hall in 1878, the Pavilion was converted to a theatre in 1889. A major re-building took place in 1897, resulting in a splendidly opulent apsidal-ended music hall.

The beautiful plasterwork, designed by J M Boekbinder, was completed in 1904. In the 1920s it became a picture palace and by the 1950s was used for summer shows. Household names such as Morecambe & Wise and Tommy Cooper performed there.

Blackpool Council is currently formulating plans for a multi-million pound, interactive heritage museum – situated within the Pavilion – which will tell the story of how Blackpool became one of the world's biggest tourist resorts.

The announcement sees 77 national projects – ranging from theatres to piers and lidos to lighthouses – each receive coastal revival funding grants of up to £50,000 to kick-start restoration work.


Winter Gardens Awarded WorldHost Business Status

Blackpool Winter Gardens is being celebrated for putting customers first as it is awarded WorldHost Recognised Business status.

Michael Williams Winter Gardens Blackpool

The venue has become the latest organisation in the UK to gain national recognition for its commitment to customer service, after being awarded WorldHost Recognised Business status.

WorldHost is a world-class customer service training programme that has already been used to train almost 150,000 people in the UK, including tens of thousands of staff and volunteers for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The status is awarded to businesses that have trained 50% or more of their front line staff using any of the WorldHost training programmes and signed a commitment to delivering excellent customer service.

The Winter Gardens is one of the founding members of the Blackpool Tourism Academy, a consortium of key leisure attractions within the UK's premier seaside resort dedicated to boosting the skills of their workforce. With the assistance of funding from the Government's Employer Ownership Pilot, a range of training is being delivered to equip the workforce with skills which will not only enhance their personal abilities but also add value to the businesses in which they work.


Look Inside the Winter Gardens...

On a dark November afternoon, the Winter Gardens threw open their doors with a warm welcome to industry guests, to showcase the best that this wonderful attraction has to offer, showing off the Empress Ballroom, the newly refurbished Derham Room laid out for a banquet, the Empress Grill with fabulous catering which really looked too good to eat. Come take a look at what we saw...

Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens Blackpool
The magnificent Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens Blackpool, getting ready for a ball!

The Derham Room at the Winter gardens, set for a banquet
The Derham Room at the Winter Gardens, set for a banquet 

The Empress Grill at the Winter Gardens
The Empress Grill at the Winter Gardens...

The Empress Grill at the Winter Gardens
The Empress Grill at the Winter Gardens, dine in style!


Spring Cleaning

Restoring the facade of the Winter Gardens Blackpool

The front of the Winter Gardens building was tented with scaffolding and sheets, and the areas around the doorways boarded off in late 2014. The work was part of a refurbishment and repair programme which saw the 'faience' - the cream stone cladding - cleaned and damaged areas repaired. This work also uncovered a Royal Seal dedication plaque from the 1930's that hasn't even been seen since the early 1960's.


Something for Everyone at the Winter Gardens

This huge and magnificent building has 11 main separate spaces over two floors.

The Winter Gardens Blackpool

The variety of events the Winter Gardens has to offer means there will always be something to offer locals and visitors to the resort, especially with Mamma Mia! reviving the summer season long show in 2014.


The Opera House

New, upcoming bands have played in the Opera House including the like of Little Mix, along with old favourites such as Jane McDonald and Daniel O'Donnell who continue to return and some of the world's best bands including Canada's Arcade Fire - who selected the Winter Gardens as only one of three venues to play in the UK. 

See Mamma Mia! at the Winter Gardens Blackpool

Throughout the summer of 2014, the West End smah hit Mamma Mia! played a summer season here in Blackpool at the Winter Gardens.

Blackpool Hall of Fame for Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! is now officially in the Blackpool Winter Gardens “Hall of Fame.”

mamma Mia

The international smash hit musical has ended its 12 week Blackpool Summer Season, and in the tradition of all top shows and acts performing at the Winter Gardens, the Mamma Mia! name is now etched in gold.

Since 1889 top performers or shows have had their names permanently displayed in the Winter Gardens history by appearing on the official Roll of Honour in the entrance to the Floral Hall.

The first name to be honoured was English actor and playwright Wilson Barrett and last year American music legend Bob Dylan was the latest name to be added alongside the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Gracie Fields, 42nd Street and the Royal Variety Performance.

And now Mamma Mia! is there too.

Mamma Mia! is on the Roll of Honour at the Winter Gardens

With 98 performances in Blackpool, Mamma Mia! is also the highest grossing show of all time in Blackpool.


Fabulous Time at 'Let it Be'

Let it Be at Blackpool Opera House

Regular Visit Fylde Coast reader Peter and his wife went to the matinee of Let It Be at the Opera House this week - having had a thoroughly good time, they sent in this review.

There was a good turn out, especially in the stalls. The show got better as it went on, the first half was enjoyable but the second half was even better.

They make several quick changes as they go from the Cavern Club to the Summer of Love and beyond, and film sequences from the time are shown in black and white.

Let it Be at Blackpool Opera House

You might think that 40 songs would have some weak spots but it seems not. Although I wondered how many would know 'Do You Want to Know a Secret', covered by Billy J Kramer or 'I Wanna Be Your Man' covered by the Rolling Stones for their second release.

All the performers did a great job and for me the drummer was brilliant playing in the driving style of Ringo Starr. When they sat down and played the acoustic numbers, without drummer, the vocals and guitar were like the real thing, with wonderful tracks like 'Here Comes the Sun'.

In the second half you realise how their music evolved, 40 great numbers and you say why didn’t they play that. Well worth seeing.


The Empress Ballroom

The magnificent Empress Ballroom is just as comfortable staging the World Dance Championships each year as it is hosting some of the world's best rock and pop acts in concert. 

The Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens



2014 saw the opening of Illuminasia at the Winter Gardens.

The Land of the Giants at Illuminasia, Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Illuminasia is a unique walk-through attraction that blends the tradition of Chinese lantern craft with modern technology to create an incredible larger than life experience.

The Land of the Giants at Illuminasia, Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Giants Under the Sea at Illuminasia, Winter Gardens, Blackpool

You'll be amazed at the sheer scale and vibrancy of the exhibits and enjoy the surprises round every corner.... immersive and interactive - it's perfect for families, yet captivating for any age. Plus, it's all indoors - an attraction that the weather can't spoil!

In 2014, Illuminasia welcomed 110,000 visitors through the doors, and they have optioned their two additional years taking the attraction to 2017.

Illuminasia reopens for the 2016 season on 13 February.


Heritage Tours

Find out about this magnificent building with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Winter Gardens

Heritage Tour of Blackpool Winter Gardens

The Winter Gardens is an incredible building with a long history. It first opened on 11 July 1878 and since then has grown and developed as an entertainment complex which mirrors the growth of the seaside town of Blackpool. 

Right in the centre of the complex, in what is now the coffee shop, still stands the original building of the site around which the whole of the Winter Gardens has been built.

You can find out more about the History of the Winter Gardens here

Tour dates, times and more information

If you'd like to see more of the Winter Gardens and hear tales which bring the building and its past to life, why don't you book on a Heritage Tour?

Meeting at 11am in the Floral Hall, these tours will enthral and delight you, with memories of long forgotten events, fascinating facts you didn't know, and plenty of peeps behind-the-scenes of this magnificent and much loved building. 

Individual Tours can be found in the Events Calendar, and you can also find more details about Winter Gardens Heritage Tours here


A Perfect Venue for your Event

The Winter Gardens offers a wide variety of venues for events ranging from small private business lunches to large scale conferences. You can also hold your wedding at the Winter Gardens. What could be better than a reception or banquet in the newly refurbished Derham Room? (pictured below).

Derham Room at the Winter Gardens

The main rooms include the 2,900 capacity Opera House (the largest theatre stage outside London), the grand Empress Ballroom with a capacity of 3,250 people for concerts, and the 2,600 sq metre Olympia Exhibition Hall. 


Blackpool Dance Festival Announces International Expansion

More than 90 years after its original inception the world renowned Blackpool Dance Festival is to launch its first overseas event which will see it expand into China.

Blackpool Dance Festival

Working in partnership with International Special Attractions (ISA) the Blackpool Dance Festival will promote and be responsible for a brand new festival almost 6,000 miles away in Shanghai.

The event’s global expansion is part of an on-going relationship with ISA, the creators and investors behind Illuminasia which opened in April 2014 at the Blackpool Winter Gardens. Illuminasia has attracted more than 100,000 visitors since opening and recently announced a three year extension in the resort.

Based in Shanghai, ISA will work with the team in Blackpool on the organisation, branding and management of the prestigious dance event which will be promoted under the name Blackpool Dance Festival (China).

Blackpool Dance Festival

The first ever overseas Blackpool Dance Festival will be held at the Grand Stage, Shanghai, China from 19th – 23rd August 2016, with the annual May Festival continuing to take place at The Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

The Blackpool Dance Festival has become one of the world’s most prestigious annual dance tournaments attracting in excess of 20,000 competitors and spectators from more than 60 countries over the course of the nine-day festival. Since the first event in 1920 the Festival has become one of the key attractions in Blackpool’s annual tourism calendar.

Michael Williams, Managing Director of Winter Gardens Blackpool, said: “This is a great opportunity for Ballroom Dancing and will further enhance Blackpool’s position as hosting the number one Festival in the world.  Over the past few years we have seen an influx of Chinese dancers competing in Blackpool and for us to take elements of our Festival to China can only increase the number of dancers that will want to come and experience the magic of dancing in the magnificent Empress Ballroom.

“This is an historic occasion to take such a prestigious event to China which will further strengthen the Blackpool Dance Festival as the world’s most prestigious and foremost dance event.”

Over the past 20 years Ballroom dancing has been a fast growing business in China and formed part of the Government’s drive for citizens to lead a heathier lifestyle, with more than 50 million people now registered as ballroom dancers with official Chinese bodies. The rise in popularity has also seen an increase in participants at the Blackpool Dance Festival who now regularly visiting from the Asia Pacific region to compete each year.

Michael added: “The expansion into China with ISA will allow more people from across the globe to compete in the world renowned event but will  also raise the profile of our own Festival held each May providing an invaluable opportunity to introduce Blackpool across East Asia.”

The Blackpool Dance Festival (China) will initially take place over 3-5 days with plans to grow the event each year. Competitors will be able to compete in a full range of Latin and Ballroom dancing disciplines.

Gary Fjelstad, ISA’s Vice President/General Manager, said: “ISA is very proud to have the opportunity to work with Blackpool to introduce the Blackpool Dance Festival to China.

“With our deep understanding and working relationship with people and patterns in China we are confident this adventure will bring fruitful results to all parties involved. ISA is excited and looking forward to working with all our friends in the dance world in China.”

Entries and ticket applications for the Blackpool Dance Festival (China) will open on 15th July 2015 at:

To find out more about the Blackpool Dance Festival visit

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