Tompkinson gives blessing to Lytham

Stephen Tompkinson adds celebrity clout to Lytham Halls open air play season

Stephen Tompkinson adds celebrity clout to Lytham Halls open air play season

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Lytham can always bank on support from DCI Banks - or rather the top actor who plays the cult TV copper.

Stephen Tompkinson, 50, has lent celebrity support to this summer’s open air play season at Lytham Hall.

Stephen, who grew up locally and had his first taste of the stage as a student of St Bede’s RC High School, Lytham, hails the four-play programme “an excellent initiative” and wishes “actors and audiences alike, every success”.

He adds: “It is with great pleasure that I send my best wishes to everyone involved with the open air theatre season at Lytham Hall.”

Stephen won a wide fan base with TV series Ballykissangel in which he played an English priest, delighted journalists with his amoral reporter in Drop the Dead Donkey, lived the dream as a super vet in Africa in Wild at Heart and then took on the role of DCI Banks in 2010.

His diverse stage career has included stand out roles in The Revenger’s Tragedy, Charley’s Aunt and Spamalot. He’s now passed the acting bug to his daughter Daisy.

He admits:“My own interest in acting was fostered during my school days at St Bede’s, where I spent the majority of a very happy upbringing and during my professional career I have welcomed the opportunity to mix live stage roles with film and TV work.”

Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s production Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights opens the Lytham Hall season on Sunday, June 12, followed by three performances by the Illyria company – A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Friday, July 1, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore on Sunday, July 10 and Danny Champion of the World on Sunday, August 28.

“Performing any live play is a challenge, especially in the open air, but I am sure that this summer the casts of the Chapterhouse Theatre Company and of Illyria will be welcoming that challenge,” adds Stephen, who is busy filming the fifth season of DCI Banks.

Julian Wilde, organiser of the Hall plays season, adds: “His personal endorsement will help us to make a memorable start to our summer programme.”

Tickets at £13, concessions at £10/£6.50, from www.chapterhouse.org and www.illyria.uk.com or Lytham Hall (01253 736652) and other outlets.