12 June 2016
Next Freddie Davies Masterclass in Blackpool June 30th
After the success of the masterclass at the Hippodrome in Leicester Square Freddie has scheduled another at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, on June 30th. You are advised to book quickly as there is already a lot of interest; seats are limited as it's in a studio space.
Attendees at the London event included Mat Ricardo, David Benson (read his comments here) and new comedian Matthew Truesmith, who described the evening as "inspirational".
You can find out more and book for Freddie's Blackpool masterclass here.
Freddie and Blackpool go back a long way. He was brought up in Salford, which had many theatres, but Blackpool also helped give him the taste for performing: as a teenager he would travel there for the day to see the shows, waiting outside the stage door for a glimpse of a star and the chance of an autograph.
Freddie started his career as a Butlins Redcoat in Skegness, becoming entertainment manager at the Butlins Metropole Hotel in Blackpool in the early sixties. "Blackpool was a great place to go if you wanted to have a look at most of the premier acts of the age," he says. "On a good day, there was nowhere nicer: a walk along the prom then a star-studded show in the evening." And when he left Butlins in 1963 to try his luck as a full time comic Blackpool was the obvious choice for a base: "There were about ten major summer shows there plus big nightclubs and pubs, all needing acts."
Samuel Tweet spluttered his first in a Manchester club, but the homburg hat which started it all was bought in a nearly new shop in South Shore for two and sixpence (12½p). "It was for an impersonation of Arthur Lowe, who was in Coronation Street at the time, but when someone shouted out for a joke about a budgie I put it on and the voice somehow just came out."
And thus began a career which still shows no signs of stopping. Freddie appeared in many summer shows in Blackpool over the years, and there is footage of his 1966 appearance at the ABC Theatre, introduced by Tony Hancock: "I was playing on the same stage I was working on every night," recalls Freddie, "so it was easy - a home crowd."
Freddie lived in Blackpool until the early seventies and returned to produce pantos there in the early eighties. The Disney film Funny Bones (French title: Les Droles de Blackpool) was shot there in 1994, featuring Freddie and George Carl as double act the Parker Brothers, along with Jerry Lewis and Lee Evans, so presenting his masterclass at the Grand Theatre is a bit of a homecoming.
More information and booking for Freddie's Blackpool masterclass here.
More about Freddie's autobiography Funny Bones here.