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Wayfarers Shopping Arcade is celebrating its 125th Birthday with a Victorian Weekend

8 months ago

Wayfarers Shopping Arcade is celebrating its 125th Birthday with a Victorian Weekend
Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport


People are being invited to enjoy a very special Victorian Weekend as the historic Wayfarers Shopping Arcade in Southport celebrates its 125th anniversary.

The stunning Grade II Listed landmark, which opened on the Lord Street shopping boulevard in 1898, is hosting the event on Saturday, 28th October and Sunday, 29th October 2023.

The occasion is free to attend and will feature a host of music hall singing and dancing, performers in Victorian costume, Victorian plays and more.

A Victorian Master of Ceremonies will introduce a variety of very talented performers from the Gambolling Arena Theatre Company and the Alison Wright School of Dance and Drama.

Families will also be able to browse local shops or sit down to enjoy a drink and something to eat from one of the arcade’s cafes.

Wayfarers Shopping Arcade
Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Gambolling Arena Director Suzy Walker said:

“We are looking forward to transporting shoppers at Wayfarers Shopping Arcade in Southport back to the 19th century through the lens of music halls and days gone by! We are proud to announce that Vesta Tilley and our Master of Ceremonies Jonathon Plunkett will be joining our band of happy players at the arcade.

“Jordan will be taking people through the 125 year history of Wayfarers Shopping Arcade, in the style of a Master of Ceremonies from the Victorian days. Vesta will be singing classic Victorian songs such as The Boy I Love Lives Up In The Gallery, which is very fitting for Wayfarers Arcade.

“We will also have performances of true crime Murder In The Red Barn, from 1847. It’s based on a true story, and we will have five actors in Victorian costume performing for people to enjoy.

“We will have the delightful Natasha Brookes, who will be singing Victorian songs.

“We have actors from the cast of Sweeney Todd, who will sing songs from The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street.

“Shoppers will love seeing the very talented children from Alison Wright Dance and Drama School in Southport, who will be performing songs and dances from the Victorian period.

Wayfarers Arcade 125th Birthday - The Guide Liverpool Calendar
Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

“Alison is a wonderful dance and drama teacher and I am really excited to see her students entertaining shoppers during the weekend. She teachers young performers from two years old to 18 years old.

“The entertainment will run from 11am each day. The Victorian event is being held to celebrate 125 years of Wayfarers Shopping Arcade. The arcade is simply beautiful! The whole Victorian music hall experience we are bringing for the weekend will be a great way of celebrating the arcade’s past, its present and its future.

“We have galleries our performers can sing on, we have a sweeping staircase at the back, we have the most amazing backdrop – it is a stunning place to perform. At 3.30pm on the Sunday a very special guest from the North Pole, coming with his wife, Mrs Claus, will be arriving to announce all the festive fun that will be happening at Wayfarers Shopping Arcade in the run-up to this Christmas.”

Wayfarers Arcade, on Lord Street in the heart of Southport town centre, is one of the North West’s most celebrated shopping arcades.

Open seven days a week, visitors can enjoy a variety of local independent businesses set on two floors.

Find more details about Wayfarers Shopping Arcade on their website.

Find all the latest news for Southport here.

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