Over the years, seeing a show at the seaside has been one of the must-do experiences in the UK. Nowhere has had a better range of shows than Blackpool. Whilst the traditional seaside variety performance has largely disappeared, there are still several venues in Blackpool which offer great quality shows. If you’re staying in the resort for any length of time, it’s always worth checking out what’s available.
Winter Gardens – This huge entertainment complex covers a large area in the centre of Blackpool. It’s worth wandering through even if you’re not planning to see a show as it has a large bar and beautiful features inside. The Empress Ballroom is a stunning room and there’s also an Opera House theatre and several large event halls inside. You’ll find a diverse range of shows here from children’s plays, to big names in music, orchestras, concerts and comedy.
Grand Theatre – Another incredible building which is ornately beautiful inside. It was designed by Frank Matchem and is grade 2 listed because of its significance. Here you’ll find a good range of touring plays and productions. The theatre is also referred to as the National Variety Theatre as it hosts traditional variety shows from time to time. Other plays range from Shakespeare to Pantomines.
Joe Longthorne Theatre – This traditional art deco venue at the end of the North Pier, is named after one of the legends who made his name in Blackpool. Shows here typically include live comedy, tribute acts and family shows. There are only a handful of pier theatres left in the UK so you’ll be part of history just by being there.
Pleasure Beach Shows – There are a range of shows available here for all the family, most of them in the Globe Theatre. Although the Pleasure Beach is a pay to enter park these days, the shows are available to anyone. Typically there are season long shows – when we last visited it was an ice extravaganza and a magic show – and then one off shows/events where you can book for specific dates.
The Old Electric – A relatively new events space and theatre venue which typically hosts smaller community based shows and workshops.
This map shows the location of Winter Gardens, but you can move it around to see the other theatres in Blackpool