a film version is now firmly in the works as a co-production with human element
ONCE A YEAR ON BLACKPOOL SANDS IS HEADING TO NEW YORK
ONCE A YEAR ON BLACKPOOL SANDS
Its summer 1953, not long after the Coronation, in a, frankly, shabby faded theatrical guest house on Blackpool’s North Pier. Ex showgirl, and Joan Crawford adoring, Gladys (Wendy Laurence James) is trying to get the place ready for her guests. But first she has to contend with her mother, the foul mouthed, once notorious, Red Ethel (Linda Clark), the self styled, Communist showgirl slut, who is now recovering from a mild stroke. The mother and daughter hold simmering resentments and battle old grudges. Meanwhile, sweet natured, if a bit on the flighty side, Maureen (Mollie Jones), Gladys’s disappointing daughter, dreams of escape while upstairs we find Mr James Elbridge (Dominic McCavish), a married transvestite, mustering up the courage to walk along the prom from North to South pier as a woman and having not one but three female alter egos battling for a walk outside. Into this strange and, at times, alarming establishment come Tommy Price (Macaulay Cooper) and Eddy Corkhill (Kyle Brookes) a pair of Yorkshire miners ready to enjoy the annual pit close Wakes holiday, chasing scrubbers down the North Pier and drinking beer. However, in a secret reality, one hidden from friends and family, the pair are lovers who get just one chance to be together once a year in Blackpool. Based on an inspirational true story, the lives of these six ordinary working class people will be changed forever this one night in Blackpool. Tommy’s naivety and bewildering innocence will be shattered as Eddy reveals a terrible confession. And a heartbreaking truth will finally spill from within as Eddy reveals the demons he has been fighting all his life. This is a powerful story about acceptance, being true to who you are and the fight to love who you wish to love. It’s 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.