The Chester blog

Chester weekly news update #15

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  • Artist Mark Wigan, in collaboration with Place for the Arts has created an art installation in the upper windows of the former newsagents on Town Hall square. Place for the Arts occupy the ground floor of the building with the third of their pop up art spaces/galleries. Influential graphic/urban artist Mark was born in Nantwich and has been an artist for over 30 years having worked all over the world including Japan, Hong Kong and New York, where he was a contemporary of Andy Warhol. The prestigious and eye catching art is a welcome addition to a formerly vacant corner of the city.
  • Bazaar and Rummage is running at Chester Little Theatre 9 -16 October. The play by Sue Townsend, is directed by Margaret Bennett, and deals with the difficulty some people have leaving their house and communicating with people.  “Gwenda, an ex-agoraphobic, tries to help a group of women trapped indoors.  She decides that getting them to help at a local bazaar would be a good way to get them out and meeting people.  However, the women are not so sure.  Townsend uses wry humour and sharp social observation to bring this thought-provoking play to life” Tickets are available from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/chestertheatreclub/bazaar-and-rummage/e-aylqal
  • Chester’s Sick to Death , the hit history of medicine themed attraction from Big Heritage has been awarded a place in Visit England’s top family friendly events for Halloween. Visit England describe the attraction as “grossly intriguing” Extra features for Halloween include spell making , tattoos and extra “spooky fun” . In addition “Scared to Death” is an evening tour for older children and adults. The full list is at https://www.visitengland.com/top-family-friendly-events-halloween-2021
  • Chester Operatic society have announced details of their Centenary (1922- 2022) production of “Me and My Girl”. The “happiest show in town” will be staged at Storyhouse Main Stage, Chester from Wednesday 8th to Saturday 11th June 2022.”. The production follows 2018’s hit production of “Singing in the Rain”. (See https://thechesterblog.com/2018/02/09/chester-operatic-society-singin-in-the-rain-review/ ) Rob Stevens will be Artistic Director and Choreographer with Wendy Dickinson as Musical Director. There will be an Introductory Night at St. Mark’s Church Saltney on Monday 18th October at 8pmfor a “Lambeth Walk” through the vision for the show by the creative team. Email productions@chesteroperatic.co.uk to register for this event. Auditions.Auditions will be held on 1st and 8th November from 8pm at St Mark’s Church Saltney.An audition call back session is planned for 22nd November. There will be a full ensemble read-through before Christmas and rehearsals will start in January 2022
  • On The Mark Youth Theatre(OTMYT) have 13 adult roles up for grabs to join its 60 strong youth cast of 11–19-year-olds for their production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Whistle Down The Wind” which is due to be staged at Christleton High School near Chester next March. Roles available include the Male lead character of “The Man” which is described by the show’s producers as being a very demanding lead male role, playing age 25-35, 5’10″+ requiring excellent singing and acting experience with a fine Tenor voice and a top note of B flat. Auditionees must be able to fit the ‘classic’ Jesus description and be credible, as the children believe he really is Jesus. A manic, hunted man, who must have the power to move the audience emotionally.  In addition, there are six additional adult male roles and six adult female roles available. Producers are also looking for three 7–10-year-old boys to share the lead role of Poor Baby.  Full details of all roles including playing ages and vocal ranges are available via otmyt.co.uk/wdtw-auditions  Set in 1950s America, “Whistle Down The Wind” is a fast-paced show featuring full on power ballads with a score written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Meatloaf and Bonnie Tyler songwriter Jim Steinman and also featuring the smash hit ballad “No Matter What” made famous byBoyzone.  Tickets are now on sale for the show which was first produced by The National Theatre in 1996 before transferring to the West End. Artistic Director and Musical Director Simon Phillips said  “We are absolutely delighted to be back working on producing a large-scale show again after 18 months of working without an audience. It is particularly pleasing for us to have the opportunity to stage this somewhat underrated Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. It is great to be able to invite a number of adults to join the company to make the storytelling even more exciting, particularly the role of “The Man” which is very much a tour de force in musical theatre. We hope that there will be lots of interest in our auditions and we are looking forward to getting started on what we know will be a very exciting musical. Once again, we have the talented Claire Thompson onboard to provide us with some fantastic costumes and we have assembled a 14 strong live orchestra for the production which will be staged to the usual high standards which our audiences have come to expect.” Anyone interested in auditioning for the show should register their initial interest via the website otmyt.co.uk/wdtw-auditions before the closing date of Sunday 17th October. 
  • Lache will get its own masterplan with a project starting this week working with residents to identify regeneration and improvements that can be made. It will be written following an in-depth analysis of the area and consultation with residents. This will be followed by the development of design and development options, a testing of their feasibility and a final plan that will look to reflect local aspirations, while addressing design issues and describing the potential for private and public investment. The final plan is due for completion in early 2022.  Councillor Matt Bryan said: “Masterplans are the formal document to help identify improvements for an area. To be successful the plan must be a true reflection of the requirements and ideas of residents.” The council have appointed  LDA Design and their partners Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), Placed and Phil Jones Associates, to develop the plan for Lache.  Through to November there will be of pop-up events, surveys and workshops to enable local people to highlight issues and suggest ideas. Following this engagement, the proposals will be shared with residents later in the year.  The first event is a pop up stall outside the shops on Cliveden Road and Poplar Road on Thursday 7 October between 12.30 and 4.30pm.   Further workshops will be held at the Lache Community Centre on Hawthorn Road on Wednesday 3 November throughout the day.  Registration and further details of the workshops can be found here:  https://placed.org.uk/case_studies/lache-masterplan  The team are also working with local schools and youth groups to understand the views of young people in the area, while an online survey can be accessed here:  https://www.surveylegend.com/s/3lew
Pic: Karen White
  • Hoole Food Market have acquired an Urban Tricycle as their new delivery vehicle which they describe as a ” phenomenal piece of kit that’s going to really improve the way we make our local deliveries in Chester.” In the last week the zero emission Cargo Trike was used for 142km of delivery routes which would previously have been made in a diesel van. Hoole Food Market based on Faulkner street , opened in 2019 and supply families, restaurants, hotels and caterers. https://hoolefoodmarket.co.uk/
  • In another new addition to the local art scene Art Box- the gallery for emerging artists is now open at 96 Boughton (opposite Waitrose). The gallery is open Tues to Friday (10- 4) and Sat (10-2). http://www.artboxchester.co.uk
  • Finally the £5 million hotel currently under construction on Bridge street by the Wildes Hotel Group has been boosted by the acquisition of neighbouring 10 Bridge street which will allow for much expanded spa facilities and a separate dining space. With 18 bedrooms the group are promising a “hotel like no other in the city” The expansion will allow for extended roof space with views overlooking the city,with the increase in size ensuring it will now be open to the public, not just hotel guests.

If you have a story you would like to feature please get in touch via twitter or email Romeosdesk@hotmail.com. The news blog will return in 2 weeks.

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