It’s World Book Day on Thursday 7 March!

Blackpool Grand Theatre celebrated this year’s theme of Read Your Way by going on an extra special road trip to bring Onjali Q. Raúf’s famous tale of THE BOY AT THE BACK OF THE CLASS to Blackpool primary schools.

Pupils from St John Vianney Catholic Primary School, Park Community Academy, St Kentigern’s Catholic Primary School and Montgomery High School all took turns to sit down with The Grand’s Cultural Education Manager, Jo Cleasby, to enjoy the award-winning story of the power of friendship and kindness and take part in fun educational activities.

These lucky pupils will then visit Blackpool Grand Theatre in May to see a heartwarming live production of Onjali Q. Raúf’s The Boy at The Back of The Class, which will bring their favourite characters from the much-loved tale to glorious life on stage.

Told from a child’s perspective and perfectly balancing humour and compassion, this captivating story highlights the power of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn’t always make sense and reminds us that everyone needs a place to call home.

After learning that he has fled his own war-torn country, Ahmet’s classmates have a magnificent plan to reunite Ahmet with his family. An unexpected and often hilarious adventure follows, all topped off with a terrific twist.

‘There used to be an empty chair at the back of the class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it. He’s nine years old (just like me), but he’s very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn’t like sweets – not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!’

Celebrate World Book Day this year with a live performance of a favourite book or story at Blackpool Grand Theatre and encourage a love of reading and theatre that will last a lifetime!

First little readers will love to take a delightful trip to the deep dark wood on Tuesday 12 & Wednesday 13 March to meet Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s enchanting The Gruffalo’s Child; join the tea-guzzling tiger in the delightful The Tiger Who Came to Tea packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos on Tuesday 9 & Wednesday 10 April; discover the wonderful world inside a book with delightful puppetry and songs in Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 April, and spend the day with the irrepressible Peppa Pig as she returns with an oinktastic brand new live show Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out on Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 June.

And don’t forget this year’s fabulous family pantomime Cinderella from Friday 6 December 2024 to Sunday 5 January 2025 adapted from the classic fairytale by Charles Perrault.  Blackpool’s number one magical family pantomime will star everyone’s favourite comic and Britain’s Got Talent Finalist Steve Royle as Buttons with Jamie Morris and Tarot Joseph returning as the incredibly gorgeous Ugly Sisters, PLUS an all-star cast, soon to be announced. And of course, the Sensational Shetland Ponies…

World Book Day changes lives through a love of books and shared reading and its mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. World Book Day 2024 celebrates that children are more likely to enjoy reading when their choices are championed, and we make reading fun. Reading for pleasure improves children’s life chances across a range of social, educational and well-being measures. Read Your Way calls on everyone to let go of pressure and expectations, giving children a choice – and a chance – to enjoy reading.

Build a love of literary characters with a visit to Blackpool Grand and show your little readers that stories and learning can be really fun!

Onjali Q. Raúfs Boy at The Back of The Class is at Blackpool Grand Theatre from Tuesday 7 May to Saturday 11 May with evening and matinee performances. Tickets from £18.50 with concessions. 1894 Club ticket offers and school/group rates available.

Age guidance ages 7+. A resource pack is also available for teachers containing practical and creative activity ideas.

Please call the Grand Theatre Box Office on 01253 290190 or visit for full listings, bookings and further information.


Boy at The Back of The ClassTue 7 May to Sat 11 May

Tue 7 May at 7pm, Wed 8 May & Thu 9 May at 10am & 2pm, Fri 10 May at 10am, Sat 11 May at 2pm & 7pm.

Grand Theatre, 33 Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HT

Box Office 01253 290 190

Facebook - @blackpoolgrand

Twitter - @Grand_Theatre

Instagram - grandtheatrebpl




  1. williamwill09
    It's truly heartwarming to see 'The Boy at the Back of the Class' come to life at The Grand for World Book Day. Stories like these not only entertain but also educate and inspire empathy, making literature an invaluable tool for learning. This got me thinking about the role of written assignments in education. Crafting essays, dissertations, or coursework around literature can deepen our understanding and appreciation of these stories. For anyone grappling with such assignments, I've found that offers a fantastic coursework writing service. Their expertise could help bring your literary analysis to the next level, much like how The Grand has brought this book to life on stage. It's all about connecting more deeply with the material we read and study.

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