PW-JUL19-44-45-Live Event.qxp_Feature 15/07/2019 17:20 Page 45

Live Event

figure skater, so he truly understands the qualities of every figure skater who performs on this ice. The art of dance is perfected by Lynsey Brown. This is carefully crafted into perfection under the watchful eye of the director Amanda Thompson OBE and her assistant Alexa Jayne Robinson. Weaving together all these amazing elements they create a magical and exotic interpretation of all that they believe is Utopian. Amanda, who has been both producer and

director of the Hot Ice Show for over 20 years, took over as managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach 15 years ago. She has managed to successfully combine the two major and demanding roles. She began her career in the ice -skating world producing ice shows in the USA over 25 years ago. As well as juggling her roles as managing

director ofPleasure Beach and Stageworks, Amanda also sits on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) as well as acting as Chair of IAAPA’s EMEA Committee. She is also the Patron of Blackpool’s world-famous Grand Theatre, the National Theatre of Variety.

another world-renowned brand, Aardman, to open the world’s first Wallace & Gromit ride, Thrill-O- Matic. Then in 2015, a collaboration with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, saw the opening of Skyforce. 2018 saw Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s

biggest project to date, the UK’s first ever double launch roller coaster, ICON, which represents a £16.25M investment. Amanda’s experience in the industry has shown

beyond doubt that she is accustomed to tackling difficult and demanding workloads head-on. She has a talent for pushing the boundaries and demanding

the very best from every project she undertakes. As a producer and director, she is personally

Amanda is currently serving as first vice chair

for IAAPA and will lead the global attractions industry trade association as chair of the board

in 2020. Amanda is only the third woman to ever hold this position. Following the opening of the UK’s first

Nickelodeon Land in 2011, in 2013 the Thompson family brought together two years of negotiation with

involved in every aspect of the production from designing and creating exquisite and extravagant costumes, working closely with the musical director, developing the dramatic displays, to the artistic lighting and special effects which thrill and entertain millions with technical finesse. This year’s Hot Ice show, Utopian, runs until

September 7th.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Arena manager celebrates 40 years

General manager of the Pleasure Beach Arena and Globe Theatre, David Bailey has been with the company for 40 years. David took to the ice aged nine and soon started playing in one of the Hockey squads, with his love of skating it was only natural that when a job came available within the Arena he took the chance and applied. Beginning his career working

backstage at the Arena on 18th June 1979, David had some fantastic experiences touring the world with Hot Ice and even working as a magician’s assistant as a part of Showtime on Ice. Settling back in Blackpool he eventually became assistant manager at the Arena before transferring to the Globe, home of Eclipse, in 2000. There he continued to push forward new ideas, help improve staff training and was key in putting the venue forward for the Blackpool Tourism Awards – winning several prestigious accolades. David said: “Over the

time I have been with the company I’ve worked in the Skate Shop, the cafe bar, looked after the ice and even worked as DJ for the Arena’s

Beat Nights. You just adapt yourself to what is needed at the time.” As manager of the Arena David has

continued to be influential in maintaining Blackpool as the skating destination it is today. Nominated as the UK’s favourite Ice Rink Manager and UK’s favourite ice surface the Arena continues to impress as the home of The Hot Ice Show. Rehearsals of the new show Utopian started on the 10th of June and opens on the 4th July. Attracting some of the best skaters from across the globe who come to showcase their talents, it is sure to be a magnificent spectacle not to be missed! “Looking after the skaters and

ensuring that they have the right ice surface on which to perform and show off their fabulous tricks right in front of a live audience is a truly special part of the job” he said. Amanda Thompson OBE,

managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach said ‘We are really privileged to have such

loyal staff, David’s passion and dedication has helped form a part of the company over the years and we would like to raise a special thanks to a gentleman who has dedicated forty years to working with us.

JUNE 2019


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