Chester news round up #8

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  • Chester City Passion returns to the streets on Good Friday (10.30 start from the Clock) for the first time in 5 years. This unmissable event is a collaboration between Churches Together, Chester Mystery plays, Theatre in the Quarter and Link up .The Passion is the telling of the story of Jesus Christ’s final days on earth leading to his crucifixion. The story is told by a large community company of actors and musicians, played out on the historic streets of Chester . With the script based on several adaptations of the world famous Chester Mystery Plays, the play includes Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on a donkey, the last Supper, his arrest and trial and concluding with his crucifixion on the cross.
Chester Passion 2017
  • A retired barrister from Bunbury has been installed as the High Sheriff of Cheshire. Jeannie France-Hayhurst was appointed to the office, which dates to Saxon times, at a service at St Boniface Church in the village on Sunday, April 10. Jeannie practised Family Law in the North West and North Wales and since her retirement has focused on community organisations and promoting art, literature and music in Cheshire. She serves on the University of Chester’s governing council and is a trustee of the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital charity. Jeannie said: “Every child deserves a bright future and I look forward to meeting groups and organisations which help build resilience and confidence in the next generation.” Cheshire Community Foundation, which supports a wide range of charities across the county, is Jeannie’s chosen charity for her year in office and a highlight of her fundraising activities will be a spectacular musical concert at Chester Cathedral on Friday, July 8 to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Platinum Proms, hosted by broadcaster and former Chester MP Gyles Brandreth with musical direction by Matt Baker, will showcase the wealth of musical talent from Cheshire including opera duo Belle Voci, Cheshire choirs, Farndon Brass Band, students from The Hammond and Chester recovery company Fallen Angels Dance Theatre. Jeannie said: “Supporting Cheshire Community Foundation gives me the opportunity to reach the amazing small charities and voluntary groups who work across Cheshire and Warrington to help those that need it. The past couple of years have been a challenge for so many and the concert will give us all the chance to celebrate live music, each other’s company and The Queen’s spectacular 70 years on the British throne.” Jeannie lives in Bunbury with husband James and they have four children and 10 grandchildren. In her spare time Jeannie sings with Tarporley choir Decibellas, who will also appear at the concert, and is a keen gardener. 55 new High Sheriffs who will be installed in counties and cities all over the UK in the forthcoming weeks. They are all appointed by Her Majesty the Queen for a year to promote the wellbeing and prosperity of their region, to keep the peace, uphold the law and support the Judiciary.
The new Sheriff
What the Romans would have wanted
  • Deva Roman Discovery Centre launches new community Roman Medicine Garden. The team behind Deva Roman Discovery Centre are busy at work, renovating and refurbishing the already popular museum ahead of an exciting launch this summer. Outside of the museum, the team have put together a community-minded Roman Medicine Garden. The garden is located on Pierpoint Lane, and has been created with the intention that for it to act as a place where local businesses, residents, tourists and school groups can take some time out of their day to sit and enjoy their surroundings. The garden was supported by Destination Chester which has brought together organisations and businesses across the city to create an exciting calendar of events, from kayaking and cocktail-making sessions to mindfulness walks and art exhibitions, with plenty of music, drama and comedy in the mix, too. For full details, see The garden has already hosted talks from Roman characters on the use of plants in Roman medicine, and how important and powerful they could be to Roman’s daily lives, health, and celebrations. The garden will be host to many more events that the team has planned over the upcoming Easter holidays. On both Wednesdays (13th and 20th April) there will be talks held in the Roman Gardens on the uses of plants, and on Saturdays (16th and 23rd) there will be talks held in Sick to Death, the history of medicine museum and sister site to Deva Roman Discovery Centre, on the uses of these plants in medicine. The garden will be host to many more events that the team has planned over the upcoming Easter holidays. There will be talks held in the garden on the 13th, 16th, 20th and 23rd April on the uses of these plants, and the talks on the 16th and 23rd will be delivered by the staff from Sick to Death, the history of medicine museum and sister site to Deva Roman Discovery Centre, on the uses of plants in medicine.
Chester Operatic Society in action
  • Chester Operatic Society are holding a special workshop which will feature the classic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta “The Pirates of Penzance” following which, participants will get the chance to take part in a concert version of the show in front of live audience.  The workshop, which takes place at St Mary’s Creative Space in Chester on Sunday 24th April from 10.30am, will be followed by a concert performance which commences at 7.30pm. Previous workshops have included “The Gondoliers”, “The Mikado”, “Iolanthe” and “The Yeomen of The Guard”. Speaking about the event, Jan Hutchings of Chester Operatic Society said “Our workshops are always good fun and participants are always made very welcome. Music scores are provided free of charge for those who do not have their own copy.  We learn the choruses during the workshop prior to the evening concert taking place. The performances are of a high standard with experienced principals joining us together with the addition of a 5-piece band. Whether you have sung Gilbert and Sullivan before or whether it’s your first time, why join us and take part in the chorus, a warm welcome awaits”. Tickets are also on sale for the evening performance will give those who have attended the workshop the opportunity to then perform the pieces they have learned during the day in a professionally staged concert setting alongside live musicians. Organisers are promising a fun filled evening for both performers and audience members and one which celebrates one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular Operettas. Hot and cold drinks will be provided throughout the day whilst soft drinks and wine will available in the evening. Places for the workshop and tickets for the concert can be booked separately and are available from  The Society is also preparing to stage the ever-popular musical “Me and My Girl” at Storyhouse in Chester from Wednesday 8th – Saturday 11th June at 7.30pm with a Matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday 11th June. Full details of “Me and My Girl” can be found at where tickets can be booked online.
  • Vivo Care Choices has moved back to Cheshire West and Chester Council as an in-house service from today (1 April 2022), continuing to provide invaluable services for residents across Cheshire West and Chester. Since 2013, Vivo has been a separate company wholly owned and funded by the Council, supporting people with learning disabilities and autism and older people. All Vivo services regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are currently rated as ‘good’, while learning disability day services have regularly received positive inspections from the Council. With services delivered by the NHS and Council being more closely integrated in the future, Vivo has moved back in-house to support this, creating plenty of opportunities to continue developing its services. More than 500 Vivo staff are moving over to the Council and they will sit in the Health and Wellbeing directorate alongside Children’s Services, Public Health and others. There will be no impact expected on current service levels. Councillor Val Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Vivo back to the Council as in-house service. We’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic how care staff have gone above and beyond to make sure people have continued to receive the support they need. Vivo has made a lot of progress in recent years and we’re looking forward to working with staff to continue developing services in the future, making the most of opportunities that are arising.” For more information about Vivo and the range of services it’ll deliver in-house at the Council, visit:
Nicola and Fiz access Vivo’s supported living services
  • Cheshire Festival of Power will take place across the weekend of Saturday 27 August and Sunday 28 August 2022, at Ashley Hall Showground near Altrincham. A packed two days of carefully chosen arena entertainment is promised for the event headlined by the brilliant Bolddog Lings FMX Team. The UK’s top freestyle motocross display team – and official stunt team of Honda – provides a unique, non-stop show featuring Britain’s best motocross and extreme sports experts. It promises to have audiences on the edge of their seats with its daring stunts, heart-stopping tricks and non-stop aerial action – some with riders giving live commentary to the crowd as they fly 35ft in the air. Between displays, visitors are invited to get a closer look at the interactive stand where they can see the bikes close up and meet the riders. The arena will also host Nick Gregory’s Misselchalke Gundogs. Nick Gregory is an internationally recognised dog trainer who is particularly in demand in the United States, he will showcase his skillful training techniques with the assistance of a range of gundogs from spaniels to Labradors and from puppies to fully trained animals in this unmissable, family-friendly show. Elsewhere, car lovers and petrol heads won’t want to miss the Motor Brand Showcase which will feature classic and supercar paddocks packed with exclusive models like Bentley, Rolls Royce, McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Nissan Nismo, Tesla and more. There will also be classic and superbikes on display, including Ducati and Honda, while GB Helicopters will show one of their fleet next to the main stage. Visitors will be able to learn more about some of their favourite vehicles with car clubs set to be in attendance, while there will also be a fascinating steam and traction engine display. Family-friendly attractions also include a huge, traditional funfair. Meanwhile the festival also boasts a stellar music line-up with two nights of unmissable live performances on the main stage with acts including M-People singer Heather Small  and Boney M, featuring Maisie Williams. Day tickets for the Cheshire Festival of Power are £27.50 for adults and £10 for children – while youngsters aged four and under go free (although you will need to order a ticket). There are also special family and weekend ticket options. For more information visit
  • Coming up later in the month at Suzie K@ the secret garden ( Bridge street) is a meet and greet Cosplay event in aid of Macmillan Cancer support. Taking place on Saturday 23rd April, visitors to the shop will have the chance to meet Captain America and friends, stormtroopers, Snow White and others (12- 4) . Light refreshments will be available to purchase.
  • The High Streets Task Force has revisited Ellesmere Port to see progress in the town centre which was one of the first locations to receive Task Force support through its pilot programme in 2020. The Task Force heard about the legacy of their support in the town in addition to hearing about the new development board structures and fresh approaches to partnership working. The Board saw a variety of projects which are breathing new life into Ellesmere Port. On a morning tour of the town centre, the Board visited the Council’s new Portal, shared services building, designed to make accessing advice and support easier and offering social value to the town and its residents. Up to 360 staff will now be situated closer to the town centre, creating a new and sustainable anchor which is already creating new investment interest in the surrounding buildings and amenities. The Board also visited Whitby Hall which is being developed by Action Transport Theatre into a world-class centre for arts and culture, focused on children and families. This is one part of a new diverse offer that includes activity in Ellesmere Port market, such as pop-up music and food from Community Interest Company Ellesmere Port Social that has driven footfall increases by up to 30 per cent. Task Force Chair, Mark Robinson, said: “There are some fantastic new projects being delivered in Ellesmere Port which are truly exciting for residents and visitors. It’s testament to the work ethic and engagement of local groups, from the Council to community groups, the local college, and businesses.
The new Council Portal
  • Liverpool Theatre Festival has revealed the exciting line-up of shows set to be premiered at Little LTF, its festival of new works when it returns to Liverpool City Centre next month. The second annual Little LTF will be staged at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church from Tuesday 3 May to Sunday 8 May 2022. The festival, a sister event to the main Liverpool Theatre Festival which returns this August for a third year, was founded by award-winning Liverpool theatre producer Bill Elms and is dedicated to nurturing up-and-coming talent and showcasing new works for the first time. Last year the inaugural Little LTF attracted 1,200 festivalgoers. The 12 new productions were chosen from more than 30 entries by an experienced panel of industry professionals. The 2022 festival opens on Tuesday 3 May with Megan Hindley and Beth Amos’ murder-mystery comedy Not Drunk But Disorderly, followed on Wednesday 4 May with Grandmother, a heart-warming musical play by Asa Murphy. It continues on Thursday 5 May with comedy Keeping Mum, written by Karl Voden,and Mark Heller’s drama Killing Mice, while on Friday 6 May festivalgoers can enjoy Paul Daley’s saucy, warm-hearted romantic comedy It Must Be Love, being brought to the stage by Pampas Plays, and get up close and personal with the star of Angie Waller and Claire Jones’ cabaret show An Evening With Nana Funk. A busy weekend of shows opens on Saturday 7 May with Murder, Mayhem and Magic, a children’s show from Kate Allerston and A Place for Us CIC Theatre, followed by drama Around the World in 72 DaysThe Story of Nellie Bly by writer Rebekah McLoughlin and presented by Crew of Patches Theatre Company, and Sh*t Faced Santa, an outrageous festive comedy by All Day Breakfast Theatre Company. And the festival concludes on Sunday 8 May with writer and director Victoria Evaristo’s disability arts drama Just Aretha, Rebecca Casey and company’s musical theatre extravaganza Bigger Than Broadway, and powerful Hillsborough play 97+ by Tom Cain. Producer and artistic director Bill, who recently won the title of Covid-19 Creative Response (Individual) at the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards, said: “When we launched Little LTF last year, we were overwhelmed by the response both from creatives and from our audiences who flocked to see the fantastic range of new work staged at the Bombed-Out Church. That has continued this year with an incredibly high standard of submissions across the board. The ambition, creativity and talent on show means the panel has had a really tough time choosing just 12 shows to premiere at next month’s festival. Tickets :
  • Popular family adventure park, BeWILDerwood Cheshire celebrate their 1st Birthday this month with a Big Birthday Bash event running from the 25 th April. The event will run throughout May, including May half term, running until 5th June. The event will invite visitors to join the celebrations with a brand-new Big Birthday Bash storytelling show, Pecooliar Party Hat crafting and Birthday Balloon face painting. The woods will also see a new Puzzling Park Trail in which visitors have to help find 5 huge Birthday cakes which have been hidden in the woods. Author and Creator of BeWILDerwood Tom Blofeld commented,
    “It’s going to be the perfect way to celebrate our first Birthday in Cheshire, as we all know the Boggles and Twiggles love a party! So, we hope lots of explorers will join us to mark this special occasion. As well as all the fun in the woods, which as always is included in the ticket price, there will also be some extra special treats available to purchase in our catering outlets – such as jelly and ice cream! After all, it’s not a party without jelly! I’ll let you into a little secret too… If you sign up to our Twiggle Times newsletter by the 24th of April, you’ll get an extra treat on the day too, if you’re visiting between 25th April and 5th June. As well as all the Birthday fun, don’t forget to clamber and climb your way around our newest
    addition, The Towering Treetop Tangles – it’s certainly one not to be missed!”
    Since opening last spring the park has gone from strength to strength, recently winning the award for New Tourism Business at the Marketing Cheshire Awards
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