New Showtown Museum Captures Blackpool’s Showbiz History

Hannah McLaren ©

A brand new £13m museum called Showtown is set to open in Blackpool this Friday, March 15! The exhibitions will showcase the town’s glory days of entertainment.

Showtown is the “all-singing, all-dancing museum” situated in the heart of the Golden Mile, close to Blackpool Tower. It’s been 10 years in the making and is the only museum UK dedicated to circus, dance and entertainment.

Expect six galleries exhibiting the very best of Blackpool’s lively history and bold personality. The hope is that the museum will paint an old-timey, nostalgic picture of the town and compliment Blackpool’s regeneration project.

From BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing costumes to a vintage Sooty puppet, there are so many throwbacks to catch.

Blackpool is of course the home of ballroom dancing, so outfits will be on show that were worn by Strictly winners such as Stacey Dooley and the show’s professional dancers including Joanne Clifton and Katya Jones.

The V&A museum in London has even lent Showtown 28 items including Sooty and Sweep puppets from the classic TV show.

Other exhibits include George Formby’s ukulele, Tommy Cooper’s fez and Peter Kay’s purple suit.

Enjoy a whole programme of events as well!

Attend a Q&A with the World’s Greatest Ringmaster, Norman Barrett MBE. Listen in as the The Tiller Girls share their history as the world’s longest running dance company. Explore the Northern Soul music scene with a dance workshop. Embark on a typography tour of Blackpool’s ghost signs followed by a masterclass in making your own. And so much more!

Showtown chief executive Liz Moss told the BBC that the museum is a “fascinating, bright, brash, bold collage of all of those stories, those entertainment greats – but done in a really innovative and colourful way.”

Blackpool was once one of the top destinations for British holidaymakers. These days its faded pier and burnout show lights reflect a tired old town – it is now considered one of the most deprived places in England.

Click here to visit the Showtown website for more information.

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Hannah McLaren

I've worked at DC Thomson for six years! I began as an intern at My Weekly and The Scots Magazine, which was extended by a few months to help out at The People's Friend. I then covered maternity as Celebrity Editor for My Weekly, before I became Multimedia Journalist at The Scots Magazine. Currently I'm writing digital content across each title.