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Once a Year on Blackpool Sands

From 18 member  reviews
Members say: Slow, Relevant, Disappointing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

About the show

The lives of these six ordinary working class people will be changed forever this one night in Blackpool in the summer of 1953. A story about acceptance, being true to who you are and the fight to love who you wish to love. More…

"Once a Year on Blackpool Sands" is about taking brave steps in a time when to love or express yourself this way was a crime. It’s about family ties and the using of “End of the Pier” comedy to mask the feelings and hidden hurts of the six misfits who join together and take, what might well have been, the first walk towards Gay Pride in England.

Member Reviews (18)


Slow, Relevant, Disappointing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Cliched, Dated, Excruciating

See it if If your intrested in gay History in England. If you like British plays.

Don't see it if Badly directed plays where cast is barely audible. Bad sight lines for a tiny space.

Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you're curious about early LGBT history in England & the summer "walk" at Blackpool Sands, want to see a show from Britain with English cast

Don't see it if don't like single room set for many rooms, lengthy blackouts without music, anachronistic references, varying acting styles or tidy endings

Cliched, Disappointing, Slow

See it if don't really know why

Don't see it if not very well acted/staged and story was nothing. actually left during intermission

Entertaining / will def see the movie, Low-budget / stagnant set / video projection, Relevant / resonant / moving, Very funny / promising book needs work, Based on a true-story / raw & raunchy

See it if you'd enjoy a based-on-a-true-story raunchy play, sometimes raw, sometimes poignant; a bit moving & sweet. Historical (did NOT feel dated).

Don't see it if you can't handle the raunch. Grandma goes at it w/F-bombs, etc. right from the start. Everyone else follows right along. Acting is just ok.

Also This story is STILL going on TODAY.... Read more Read less

Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if Naturalistic, and at times raw. Historical yet relevant. Beautiful and unpretentious use of the English language.

Don't see it if Unrefined, but that's ok.

Ambitious, Uneven, Low-budget, Resonant, Ultimately satisfying

See it if you're willing to be patient for a rewarding conclusion (better 2nd act) and accept that it's low-budget with uneven acting and direction.

Don't see it if you expect more of an off-off-Broadway show than you do of what is otherwise merely a noteworthy festival entry.

Excruciating, Low budget, Horrid acting, Terrible writing, Disappointing

See it if you like true stories about LGBT history.

Don't see it if you're expecting competent performances, writing, or direction. Amateurish is an exaggerated compliment. Keep Calm and Stay Away

Slow, Disappointing

See it if you like character study plays that take place in the 50's

Don't see it if Very slow first act with no sense of conflict. About 1/3 of the audience left at intermission. The second act got a bit better.

Slow, Under produced, Predictable

See it if you are a gay pride history buff.

Don't see it if you can't sit in the 1st row. The cast does not project much. The story is extremely predictable. the production values are minimal

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you like plays about the gay experience, you are interested in British gay theater

Don't see it if you expect a clear storyline

Also This play from the fringe festival in UK still needs to be worked on. ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Funny, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a great little play about the LGBTQ community and the start of the resistance in the UK.

Don't see it if You do not want to see a story about the LGBTQ experience in the UK. The play is in a small theater and sometimes hard to see.

Great acting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a look at an untold gay story from 1953. You can understand Yorkshire accents. Want to understand bravery and sadness of those days

Don't see it if Can't understand Yorkshire accents. Don't have patience to follow a pretty slow story.

Also This show was slow and I went with someone who understood almost none ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if you want to see a play about acceptance and being true to yourself (as stated in the program) in a very different time.

Don't see it if you don't like gay themed plays and ones which require careful attention.

Also The British accents were definitely difficult to get used to. However,... Read more Read less

Cliched, Disappointing

See it if You are interested in early LGBTQ issues in mid-century England.

Don't see it if You have little tolerance for barely audible, poorly plotted kitchen sink drama.

Also If you don’t see it in the first row, or up in the rear of the small t... Read more Read less

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow, Uneven

See it if you're interested in plays that explore gay themes, especially acceptance, and themes about finding meaning in empty lives

Don't see it if you're looking for a light evening of theatre or you're not interested in plays dealing with fighting for gay rights

Entertaining, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Disappointing

See it if you want to experience closeted gay life decades ago in Britain while appreciating the depth of seemingly simple folk

Don't see it if you demand excellent acting from all involved or want top-notch stage directing

Ambitious, Excruciating, Slow, Indulgent, Romantic

See it if r gay, like Brits and appreciate a romantic love story that's dysfunctional. Act 1 is near unbearable. Yet Act 2 works very well.

Don't see it if Staging, structure need help. Actors NEED mics since they speak way too low and the accents prove difficult. Act 2 grounds the story FINALLY

Absorbing, Relevant, Quirky

See it if If you like British plays, if you enjoy fascinating stories, if you care about gay theatre

Don't see it if if you don't like British plays, if you don't care about gay theatre, if good stories bother you

June 16th, 2018
for a previous production “A play that explores the deeply closeted lives of gay and transvestite men who seek refuge from their everyday lives. Whilst this is laudable, Parris’s play feels like three plays mashed into one...The first half is a mess, but in the second act some stronger storytelling begins to emerge...What...
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July 20th, 2018
for a previous production "An uneven play; perhaps writer and director Karlton Parris has been inspired by the seaside setting to offset the drama with saucy humour...The gags are good but the routine goes on so long that the end of Act One is reached before the theme of the play has become clear. More significantly, the ...
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July 12th, 2018
for a previous production “The basic premise of the play has a lot of comedic potential and much of it is realized...There is some difficulty of tone between the two parts of the play, and this becomes more apparent in the second half...But overall, Parry’s script convinces. The direction was a bit cumbersome, allowing th...
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June 18th, 2018
for a previous production "Although shrill at times, the play tries to stay realistic in its depiction of life in the fifties, staying away from nostalgia and portraying both the mental and societal oppression the LGBT community had to endure...The play shines through its acting...Although Parris’ script is certainly a st...
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