With the Theatre Royal being just days away from celebrating its 175th birthday, there is a lot to see outside, as well as inside, this weekend.

The Birthday Blaze will be the lynch pin of the whole celebration, with streets closed, entertainers outside the theatre and the show unfolding all around you. At the centre is the Master of Mischief, who will start the fireworks and flames. Then on Sunday 19th there is a Gala performance being put together by our very own Michael Harrison.

Limited seats are still available for this one off performance. The cast includes panto favourites, Danny Adams, Clive Webb and Chris Hayward, as well as Allan Stewart, The Krankies and Paul Zerdon.

Starting on Thursday and Friday (16th and 17th) between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. every hour, on the hour. The Theatre Royal will undergo a brief, but extraordinary transformation. Lights, music and pyrotechnics will animate the building, hinting of what is to follow. Then on Saturday and Sunday, Grey Street and the surrounding areas will come to a stand still in the evening for the main Birthday Blaze events, with festivities on Saturday between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Sunday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The event producer is Katy Fuller and you only have to recall the Sultan’s Elephant to realise how spectacular this all will be. Full details of all birthday celebrations are on the Theatre Royal website