Don't be absent for this

If you haven't yet experienced the groundbreaking '˜Absent', make sure you're not absent as the production spends its last weekend at Blackpool Winter Gardens.

Thursday, 22nd September 2016, 12:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:00 pm

For the past month, the show has left audiences stunned with its creativity as it takes them on a magical mystery tour of the Winter Gardens.

Commissioned by the Grand Theatre, it mixes film, architecture and a “haunting soundtrack” to create a unique and immersive experience for the audience.

Absent takes a look at the changing world of Blackpool from the perspective of one of its most famous buildings.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The story is based around Maggie Morgan who celebrates a big Premium Bonds win by moving into the Pavilion suite at the Winter Gardens Hotel.

Half a century later, she is still there, while all around her this world-renowned hotel has been falling into financial and physical collapse.

Ruth Eastwood, Chief Executive of The Grand Theatre said: “Absent uses unique and beautiful elements of the building, not normally accessible to the general public, to create a whole new world, where ticket-holders step into and are, literally, surrounded by their fantasy.

“It takes about an hour to experience Absent but, believe me, its haunting beauty will live with you forever.”

The experience is the brainchild of dreamthinkspeak’s Artistic Director Tristan Sharps and has been brought to Blackpool after an original run in London.

The Blackpool production has been completely remodelled to incorporate the unique splendour of the Winter Gardens.

David Upton, who reviewed the show for the Gazette, said: “This intriguing and charming production/installation/artwork – or even fairground attraction – invites ‘guests’ to check into an imaginary hotel and immerse themselves in the story of one of its most colourful residents.

“Children will love it, while older imaginations will unravel their own fragments of story. The final ‘ballroom blitz’ is a visual showstopper, even if you think you’ve seen all the Winter Gardens has to offer.”

The tours will run from 12pm on Sunday and until Thursday next week.

Tickets are priced at £17.50 for adults and £12.50 for under 26s.

They are available from