Once a Year on Blackpool Sands
Once a Year on Blackpool Sands

Once a Year on Blackpool Sands NYC Reviews and Tickets

(18 Ratings)
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.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (18)

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436 Reviews | 53 Followers
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.

64 Reviews | 17 Followers
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

106 Reviews | 32 Followers
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

225 Reviews | 40 Followers
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.

223 Reviews | 17 Followers
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. Read more

106 Reviews | 60 Followers
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. Read more

187 Reviews | 211 Followers
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.

297 Reviews | 78 Followers
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. Read more

Critic Reviews (6)

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 the Americans will make of such a parochial play I can’t imagine, but there are several things that can be dealt with now to improve the production."
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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 humour and the drama do not blend well together...Not a subtle play; the characters do not converse but rather make lengthy speeches at each other.”
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Attitude (UK)
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 the pace to drift and as series of scenes to be played with the same mood and tone repeatedly, but the strong central performances carry it...Funny, surprisingly political and full of revelations."
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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 strong point, there are times where slapstick seems to overtake the normally remarkable balance between comedy and serious exploration...Nevertheless, 'Once a Year...' is very good entertainment."
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June 22nd, 2018
For a previous production

“A queer tragicomedy that skilfully straddles the divide between the two genres...Parris’s script mixes Carry On farce with dramatic realism, a juxtaposition that cuts through the nostalgia and reminds us that the golden age of bawdy innuendo was also the time when gay men were routinely brutalized...Anyone would do well to seize the opportunity to see it while they can."
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Canal-Street Online
July 23rd, 2018
For a previous production

“Craftily constructed play, with several interwoven strands that come together, ultimately uniting all the characters in a show of defiance against the social mores of the day...Part comedy, part love story, with a serious end and based on a true story. All six characters are excellently portrayed...A powerful ending with people throwing things and spitting at them...At the end the audience were on their feet and the ovation was justified.”
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