The iconic building that was once Wigan Casino may have been reduced to a pile of rubble some 35 years ago, but for many including this writer and countless others from across the North West, the memories of happy times spent there will live on forever. And this weekend, Mick Martin’s tale of this memorable venue hopes to bring it all to life for us again as Once Upon A Time In Wigan takes the audience back to those halcyon years of the 70’s and 80’s.
It’s 1976 and 18 year old Eugene Drennan, a butcher’s boy on Bolton Market, feels like his life is going nowhere… but Eugene is about to make a momentous, life changing discovery… NORTHERN SOUL! Not just the amazing rhythm and driving beats of the music, but also the incredible, intoxicating atmosphere of the legendary Wigan Casino – the ‘Mecca’ of Northern Soul!
The show is receiving rave reviews and has been described as ‘A Northern Classic’, ‘George Orwell meets Nick Hornby but with a plus…’, ‘Not only a stunning, revolting tribute to the power and intensity of Northern Soul, but also a study in humanity, passion and the difference living and being alive’
The script is described as being at moments so lyrical you felt you could close your eyes and listen only to the words. But make sure you don’t or you’ll miss a wonderfully heartwarming portrayal of the Northern soul movement and its dedicated ‘soulies’.
Once Upon a Time in Wigan is at The Layton Club, Westcliffe Drive, Blackpool at 7.30pm this Saturday 15th and 4.00pm Sunday 16th September. A northern soul night and DJs follows the Saturday performance. On Sunday there is an ‘all dayer’ from 3-9pm with the play starting at 4pm.
Tickets £10 via Eventbrite or £12 on the door. Telephone 07873 769791.
Image is of the cover of a CD of tracks from the play and not from the current production
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