The Chester blog

Chester weekly news flash #5

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Bella’s Magical Quest is a fairy tale created, performed and filmed by members of Chester’s Jigsaw Music Theatre – using the beautiful surroundings of St Thomas’ Church as their film set and inspiration for the story. The production was filmed entirely using mobile phones.

Following on from the sell-out success of their previous show “Musical Magic”, popular local theatre company Tip Top Productions, formerly based at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester, will return to Theatr Clwyd near Mold for two special performances of a new show which is being staged as part of Theatr Clwyd’s outdoor season of events. 
The show “Tip Top’s Summer at The Musicals” takes place on Sunday 15th August 2021 with performances at 3pm and 7pm and features songs from popular West End and Broadway Musicals performed by a cast drawn from Tip Top’s talented performers including Brian Fray, Ellison Roberts, Laura Morris, Lee Randle, Mike Jenkinson-Deakin and Natalie Brett.
Audience members are asked to bring suitable portable camping seating or rugs, cushions etc with them so as to enjoy the unique atmosphere of Theatr Clwyd’s outdoor performance space. 

Speaking about returning to Theatr Clwyd for this year’s outdoor season, the show’s Director Steve Davies said ” I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to invite such wonderful performers to the Theatr Clwyd open air stage. We have created a great set list that will introduce the audience to some new songs as well as reminding them of lots of ‘old favourites’ “. The show will include songs from much loved musicals including Oklahoma,  The Sound of Music and Cabaret, alongside newer shows including Waitress, Bat Out Of Hell and West End and Broadway smash hit Hamilton.
Tickets for “Tip Top’s Summer at The Musicals” are priced at £10 For full details and online booking go to www.chestertheatre.co.uk
Tickets are also on sale for “The Show Must Go On”, Tip Top’s return to the Theatr Clwyd indoor stage which runs at the Anthony Hopkins Theatre from Wednesday 27th – Saturday 30th October at 7.30pm with a Matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday 30th October. Full details can be found at www.theatrclwyd.com where tickets can also be booked online

Missing from the Chester events calendar since 2019 with last years event being postponed/cancelled due to the pandemic, the Taste Cheshire Food and Drink Festival returns to the racecourse 28-30th August. With over 150 exhibitors , celebrity guests include Masterchef star John Torode and chef Paul Rankin. The redesigned festival will take place almost entirely outside, meaning that for the first time the event will be dog friendly , apart from the Chef demonstration stage and cooking classes. Say the organisers ” all we ask is that you keep them under control, on a lead and clean up after them. We have plenty of space on the field for them to have a good run around too if they need to burn off some energy from all the excitement.

Fools Gold at the Live Rooms takes place on the 23rd July from 10pm onwards. Tickets for the Indie, Brit pop and rock event are £6/ £8 on the door. “Our dance floor opens Friday night. After months of setbacks. We’re back!”

Ryan Amos

In other music news, writes Dan Schott : Chester’s very own Ryan Amos dropped a brand new album last week on growing hip hop label ‘Gold On The Mixer’. ‘Unhappy Birthday’ was released on the big man’s big day and sees Amos continue to trust his psychedelic instincts and tame them with absolute authority lyrically. Stand out track ‘Deva’ namechecks local businesses including Sergio, Oddfellows and Chez Jules, to name three. It’s certainly worth a listen to catch the relentless and clever list. You can catch the track here: https://goldonthemixer.bandcamp.com/track/deva The album is available as a ‘Party Set Bundle’ which includes: Limited edition ‘feeling blue’ cassette + download code Hand written birthday card Unhappy Birthday badge and sticker Unhappy Birthday Party Popper You can also buy the album as a download here and includes the party bundle purchase link: https://goldonthemixer.bandcamp.com/album/unhappy-birthday-gotm-027

Popular micro bar and family business The Goat and Munch , established in the Garden Quarter in 2016 (see The Goat and Munch – The Chester blog) have announced that they are up for sale. The owners of the much loved venue stated on their facebook page : “We have operated on a restricted basis for 16months now and it has been tough operating under different rules to other premises. However we got through it and would like to thank all those who has supported us over the last 5 years, particularly those who carried us through during lockdown. Some fab people have crossed our doorstep and we look forward to sharing a bevvie with them before and after we go!”

Figures released by the council have revealed that a property boom in Ellesmere Port has led to the construction of 2355 new houses in the last decade. There were 81 affordable homes completed in the past year at Whitby Road, Ledsham Garden Village, Wellington Place (Cromwell Road), and Sycamore Garden Centre (Chester Road Great Sutton) offering a mixture of rented accommodation and low-cost home ownership properties. 1,128 houses are under construction with a steady stream of new planning applications. The forecast for new affordable housing in the next year sees an additional 172 homes.  A very long list of new planning applications includes : Demolition of the former Station Hotel, Station Road and the development of 19 affordable apartments (approval given in April)  Phoenix Lodge, Cromwell Road, an application to refurbish the existing unoccupied former social club to create seven affordable 1 bed studio-style apartments (approved in April).  Erection of 29 dwellings including all associated infrastructure, parking and private/communal amenity space in Cromwell Road (awaiting planning permission) and numerous other housing developments.

The Council is consulting residents for their views about local housing construction. To join the conversation visit

https://participatenow.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/local-plan-homes . 

New in the Grosvenor Centre , the first small business has opened in the pop up shop on St Michaels Row. Modern Art Chester will occupy the unit for 3 weeks and will be offering contemporary artwork. Other confirmed pop up occupants include Dawn Woodcock Jones and By Sam Bull, and Plantface who return from 2020.

New openings on neighbouring Bridge street row include new cafe Naughty Badger Coffee and Bistro. The cafe offers one of the few places to sit and enjoy a cafe on the row terraces , and Italian restaurant Carbonara at No. 49 in the building formerly occupied by Mad Hatter’s Tearooms . Now open on St John street in the unit vacated by The Alchemist last Summer, Bonobo Bar and Canteen are promising a “stylish hangout & ecosystem on two floors” offering “Rum, fast-food, good liquid, music ’til late…”

New places

This Saturday , 24th July, Town Hall Square will host a protest /rally from the University and College Union (UCU) Chester branch and its supporters. Speakers include union secretary Jo Grady and MP Chris Matheson. UCU say they are campaigning against redundancies “following a string of financial scandals” and have pledged to ballot members for strike action unless all redundancies are withdrawn. Event begins at 12pm.

Also this Saturday home bakers Crumbs Chester will be raising money for The Countess of Chester hospital with cupcakes, brownies, blondies, cookies & more on sale from 5 Queens Road.

Finally this week, the Eastgate clock and Town Hall, formerly red and white for the England football team will be turning green this Saturday to remind everyone that the Samaritans are a 24/7 listening service. For our recent blog with the charity visit Chester Samaritans revisited – The Chester blog

The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 free from any phone

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