• BeWILDerwood Cheshire are hosting their first ever Christmas event : BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas, a Sparkly Light & Panto Trail runs on selected dates from the 2nd to the 23rd December and tickets are now available to purchase online. This unique event will be like no other, allowing visitors to experience the wonderfully wonky woods transformed for the festive season. Full of beautifully handmade decorations, sparkly lights, Christmas cheer and of course the curious characters of BeWILDerwood will be sure to make an appearance. There will also be a mini pantomime, again with a magical BeWILDerwood twist. Visitors will be welcomed into the woods at dusk as they follow the light trail, exploring pathways exclusive to the new event. Think silly snowmen, giant Christmas crackers and even a huge Christmas pudding! Author and creator Tom Blofeld commented, “It’s been in the works for some time, but I am very happy to tell you that not only are we hosting this fantastic Christmas event, unlike any event you’ve seen before… there’s also a new BeWILDerwood book just for Christmas! If you weren’t aware, BeWILDerwood is based on books which is where the enchanted story and character elements come from. It’s what sets BeWILDerwood apart from other attractions! With 3stories already part of the BeWILDerwood world, this new and exclusive book is the perfect present for BeWILDerwood fans. Tickets are £15.50 per person and must be booked in advance online. Tickets will be limited so its advised to book soon to guarantee your spot. The event will last around 1 hour and 30 minutes and all children will receive a craft and BeWILDerwood Christmas book. https://cheshire.bewilderwood.co.uk/events/bewilderwood-presents-christmas/
  • Following on from the sell-out success of Conor McPherson play “The Weir” at The Live Rooms recently, Chester based theatre company Against The Grain will stage Ira Levin’s classic murder mystery “Deathtrap” in the Salisbury Studio Theatre at Chester Little Theatre from Thursday 20th October – Saturday 22nd October at 7.30pm. The play will be directed for Against The Grain by company co-founder Stuart Evans. Described as “a play within a play” and full of plot twists and turns, “Deathtrap” was first staged in 1978 and holds the record for the longest running comedy-thriller on Broadway. It was nominated for four Tony Awards including Best Play. In 1982, it was adapted into a successful film starring Michael Caine. The play tells the story of American playwright Sidney Bruhl who despite his previous successes, has hit writer’s block following a series of box office flops. Desperate to get back in the game, he hears of an up-and-coming playwright, Clifford Anderson who has written a new play called ‘Deathtrap’. Sidney tells his wife, Myra that Clifford’s play could be a success and invites him round for dinner to ‘discuss’ the new piece of writing, but things are about to take a sinister turn? The 5 strong cast includes Simon Phillips (The Weir), Marian Newman (Small Tales, Mr Dumpling), and Mark Newman (Small Tales, Mr Dumpling, The Weir). Joining Against The Grain for the first time are actors Haluk Saglam and Sally Anglesea. Speaking about bringing the production to the stage, Stuart Evans said “Lots of people know the film version of “Deathtrap” with its infamous Gay kiss between two Hollywood stars, needless to say it’s so much more than that. When I first received a copy of the script, the play was clearly described as ‘a thriller’ which would normally give the director a very fixed idea as to how it should be staged. But, a few pages in and I didn’t see this was the case at all but a clever ploy put there by the playwright, using the actual title of the play within the play and its theme. The dialogue between the characters demonstrates that it’s very clearly a comedy, almost a farce if you will but with all the elements of a classic thriller including several unexpected plot twists.  The choices that I have made as director, together with the cast are all about bringing out the humour whilst not detracting from the darker, more sinister side the plot.” Stuart added “Even though as a play, it was first staged in 1978, the writing is so good that it doesn’t really date and so it can still be staged as if in the modern day as there are so are few references which pin point it to a particular moment in time. We’ve certainly had some very interesting props to source and some of the scenes have to be very heavily choreographed but we have an excellent props team and cast onboard and so we very much hope that our audiences will enjoy Against The Grain’s fresh take on this classic comic thriller whilst staying true to Ira Levin’s beautifully crafted script and ingenious plot.” http://www.chesterlittletheatre.co.uk/
  • Cycling Without Age Chester has used the Cheshire West Crowd to raise nearly £10,000 and help people get out and about in the local community. The Cheshire West Crowd, which is being run by Cheshire West and Chester Council in partnership with Spacehive, is the ideal chance for community-led ideas to be created so the borough can become more vibrant, resilient and connected. Cycling Without Age Chester attracted 41 different backers through the Cheshire West Crowd, including more than £7,000 from Council funding pots. The successful crowdfunding campaign helped the charity purchase two trishaws, providing an opportunity for Cycling Without Age Chester to take elderly people to local green spaces. Zoe Boustead, Trustee at Cycling Without Age Chester, said: “Raising nearly £10,000 through the Cheshire West Crowd was an amazing sum for us. A really interesting by-product, which was unexpected, was the amount of people we met through the project as we’ve been introduced to some really helpful advocates for us. The process was very straightforward and there was a lot of communication to guide us along the way. It’s very accessible so people could donate a very small amount and we also attracted large sums. It’s open to everyone and I think that’s really important for any community projects out there. I’d definitely recommend it for its easy use, access to a range of funds that we wouldn’t have necessarily known about and how we’ve been able to meet new people to promote our project to a wider audience.” Andrew Foster, Trustee at Cycling Without Age Chester, added: “I take people out for rides and excursions from care homes, residential homes or anyone else who is living at home in the community. It’s something I do for a couple of hours each week and we’re looking for more people to help us do more of that. It’s literally having conversations with people, learning about what they do and giving them the opportunity to get out and about. There are those who can’t get out very often so it’s nice to be able to do that for them. We’re now engaging with more organisations and the people we’ve engaged with have really enjoyed it. For more information about the project, visit: cyclingwithoutage.org.uk/chester. After launching in 2021, the Cheshire West Crowd has already had two funding rounds and, with around £400,000 contributed by the Council and nearly £770,000 raised in total by local projects, it is one of the most successful initiatives Spacehive has run. The deadline for projects being added to the Cheshire West Crowd is Wednesday 2 November 2022 as the Council will be allocating funds from the various pots in December 2022. The following funding pots will be available from Cheshire West and Chester Council in the autumn 2022 round: Community Innovation Fund – £250,000, Youth Fund – £20,000, Cheshire West Crowd Fund – £90,000, COVID Recovery and Renewal Fund – £47,885, Climate Change Emergency Fund – £10,000, Tackling Poverty Fund – £9,865. For more information about the Cheshire West Crowd and how you could get involved, visit: spacehive.com/movement/cwc.
  • Storyhouse is presenting a special season of chilling cult classics and horror favourites on the big screen this Halloween in association with the British Film Institute.  In Dreams Are Monsters, running from 5 October to 2 November, takes place at Storyhouse while it also sees the hugely popular Moonlight Flicks return to the Carriage Shed, located behind Chester Railway Station.   The season, which is running as part of a UK-wide film event, includes a special 100th anniversary screening of the original silent film of Nosferatu, complete with a live score played by Frame Ensemble.  The 1922 movie, an unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula directed by FW Murnau and starring Max Schreck and Ruth Landshoff, is widely regarded as the most influential horror film of all time.  It will be shown in the Storyhouse Movie Theatre on Monday, 24 October.  Meanwhile the Storyhouse Cinema will host entertaining and thought-provoking vampire  films from the last 40 years including  Let The Right One In ,Ganja & Hess , A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night , The Hunger  and Carmilla . In Dreams and Monsters also sees a welcome return to the Carriage Shed for the hugely popular Moonlight Flicks series with the run including Twilight, Night of the Living Dead, The Lost Boys and What We do in the Shadows In Dreams Are Monsters is a major nationwide film and events season led by the BFI and supported by the National Lottery, charting how the monsters of horror have evolved over the past century, made physical the anxieties of their time – and how we react when faced with the monster within.  Storyhouse film and digital programmer manager Nicky Beaumont says: “I’m so excited about this collaboration with the British Film Institute which will enable Storyhouse to present some fantastic films from the last 100 years of the horror genre on the big screen.  Nosferatu is rightly regarded as of huge importance in the history of the cinema, and to see it screened with a live soundtrack will be a very special experience. Chester cinephiles are going to be spoilt for choice this Halloween.”  https://www.storyhouse.com/post/blog/in-dreams-are-monsters-brings-horror-to-the-big-screen-at-storyhouse-this-halloween
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