Wolverhampton Grand Theatre to produce Brassed Off - their first in-house show in 40 years
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre will produce its first in-house show for more than four decades later this year, theatre bosses have announced.
The news comes as the Grand confirmed more than 60,000 people will have seen this year's pantomime, Aladdin, at the venue when it closes later this month - in what has been proclaimed 'a roaring success'.
The in-house production of Brassed Off, to run from August 23 to September 2, follows the theatre's £1.2million refurbishment which was unveiled in September.
Grand chiefs said the show is the first drama to be produced by the theatre for 40 years and 'will feature a community cast who will appear in a variety of speaking and non-speaking roles alongside high-profile professional actors to be announced soon'.
A full brass band will form a key part of the production, while casting and auditions for local performers will be announced in the near future. Brassed Off was written by Paul Allen, adapted from the screenplay by Mark Herman.
The show will be directed by Gareth Tudor-Price, who is a former artistic director at Hull Truck Theatre, with set and costume design by John Brooking - who has designed sets for the West End stage.
Aladdin, which got underway at Wolverhampton's historic theatre in December, was billed as 'Wolverhampton's biggest pantomime ever' by theatre bosses.
Stars included X-Factor winner Joe McElderry as Aladdin, Lisa Riley as the Slave Of The Ring, CBeebies' Mr Bloom and Ben Faulks as the Chief of Peking Police.
Local internet sensation Doreen Tipton played the Lazy Empress Of China, Britain's Got Talent finalist – soprano Lucy Kay was the Princess and magician Stefan Pejic played evil Abanazar.
Vicky Price, Associate Director of Development and Communications, said: "This year's pantomime Aladdin has been a roaring success.
"Customer feedback has been positive, there have been five-star reviews and the casting has been highly complimented.
"The return to a more traditional pantomime style has been very much appreciated by our audience and we will continue to develop this in the coming years.
"I would estimate that over 60,000 people will have seen it by the time the run ends on Sunday 22 January."
Despite the impressive attendance for the pantomime, audience records aren't expected to be surpassed which is put down to pantomimes running for 10 weeks or more in previous years.
The modern record held by Wolverhampton Grand Theatre is from the 1999-2000 season when Jack And The Beanstalk ran until February 27 – starring Jeffrey Holland, Jesse Spencer, John Nettles and Judy Buxton.
Tickets are still available for Aladdin, which runs at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until January 22.
Tickets for Aladdin can be bought from the box office in person or by calling 01902 429 212.
They can also be bought online at grandtheatre.co.uk. Tickets for Brassed Off are also now on sale.