• Christmas cheer and lots of fun activities for children will be taking place at West Cheshire Museums’ Lion Salt Works Museum and Grosvenor Museum this festive season, starting on 3 Dec. Northwich’s Lion Salt Works Museum will be holding a day of festive fun on 3 December, including the chance to see Father Christmas, listen to a choir and watch Morris dancers. Meanwhile, over the three weeks leading up to Christmas, Chester’s Grosvenor Museum will feature drop-in Christmas crafts for children as well as a special ‘Christmas Through the Ages’ dementia-inclusive event. For further information go to www.westcheshiremuseums or Eventbrite. Meanwhile Chester’s Grosvenor Museum will be hosting craft activities from the 3-21 December. Staff at the Museum have put together an imaginative series of craft activities each Saturday between 10.30am -12.30pm on 3, 10, 17 December. Young visitors can use their imagination to create personalised sparkling Christmas decorations using recycled and sustainable materials.  In addition, on Saturday 21 December, 2-4pm, there will be a fun ‘Christmas through the Ages’ dementia-inclusive event. Visitors can join the Learning Officer and enjoy exploring Christmas objects from the Museum’s Handling Collection.  Donations are gratefully received to cover the cost of materials and for refreshments, also included. For advanced booking contact Grosvenor Museum on 01244 972197. At the Museum, all its exhibitions are free of charge and all visitors can also visit the café and gift shop.  Maria Bryne, West Cheshire and Chester Council’s Director of Environment and Communities, said: “Everyone is warmly welcomed to these fun, festive activities. These activities are always a delightful way to way to get into the festive spirit and the historic and evocative settings of the Lion Salt Works and the Grosvenor Museum enhance this experience.”  
  • Saturday night at Storyhouse offers an Evening of Poetry with Mike Garry (7.30). Mike Garry was a librarian for 15 years before becoming a poet.    He began by reading his own poems to the hundreds of young people who attended his Library Homework Centre. They loved what they heard and encouraged him to perform them at live poetry events and Slams, which he did, instantly winning fans and prizes throughout the UK.    His gritty poetry has won the admiration far and wide and his collaboration with Joe Duddell and New Order in New Yorks Carnegie Hall in 2014 received five star reviews.  Championed by Philip Glass for whom Mike is currently writing a libretto that will be premiered at the 2015 Days and Nights Festival in The Big Sur.   Mike has worked in thousands of schools and his three books, Men’s MorningMancunian Meander and God is a Manc have become schemes of work in schools throughout the UK and his poetry is regularly heard on BBC Radio and TV.  He has read his poems in Prisons, Young Offenders units, Mental Health Hospitals, Children’s Homes, youth clubs and local pubs. He’s passionate about bringing live poetry to places it wouldn’t normally reach and to people who wouldn’t normally listen to it. In 2010, Mike was hand picked to tour with John Cooper Clarke by his management.  £10 / Non-members: £12 https://www.storyhouse.com/event/an-evening-of-poetry-with-mike-garry
  • Also coming up at Storyhouse :FAUSTUS: That Damned Woman a new play from award-winning playwright Chris Bush (Standing at the Sky’s Edge)  3 – 18 February 2023.   Drawing on Marlowe and Goethe’s versions of the Faustus myth, Bush’s reimagining asks what we must sacrifice in order to achieve greatness and the legacy that we leave behind. It is a co-production with Fallen Angels Dance Theatre with movement by artistic director Paul Bayes Kitcher.   Helen Redcliffe, producer at Storyhouse said:  FAUSTUS: That Damned Woman will be a dramatic, powerful and fantastically exhilarating and we can’t wait for our audiences to experience it!”  Set to be a gripping drama FAUSTUS: That Damned Woman will explore what we must sacrifice to achieve greatness in an original reimagining of the legend of Faust, who sells his soul to the devil in return for unlimited knowledge and pleasure, only to squander both. The play asks what would you do in his place?    The Storyhouse Original Production will be directed by Francesca Goodridge with movement by Paul Bayes Kitcher, (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Storyhouse 2019), design by Good Teeth (The Book Thief, Bolton Octagon 2022)  the Composer and Sound Designer is Russell Ditchfield (Lysistrata – Lyric Hammersmith 2022).  The cast will be announced early next year.  Book now at storyhouse.com  
  • BeWILDerwood Cheshire are getting ready to host their first ever Christmas event, BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas – A Sparkly Light & Panto Trail. “As the woods fill with festive lights and wonderfully wonky Christmas decorations, a ginormous Christmas pudding has appeared too. The Boggles and Twiggles of BeWILDerwood think it’s the biggest Christmas pudding they have ever seen and standing tall at 6 Boggles high, we think they might be right! See the Christmas pudding for yourself, as well as all the well-loved BeWILDerwood characters and lots more as you explore this brand-new Christmas event. Discover a Sparkly Light Trail, exploring new pathways exclusive to the event. Watch a mini-10-minute BeWILDermas pantomime and catch a glimpse of Santa Claus himself. With a special gift to take home for all children, BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas is sure to be your new Christmas tradition.” BeWILDerwood Author and Creator Tom Blofeld has even written a new Christmas themed story to add to the famous collection of books. He commented, “The book introduces some new characters to the woods, and you’ll see hints of the new story along the route. The event brings the magic of Christmas and magic of BeWILDerwood together and we’re extremely excited for visitors to celebrate this special time of year with us. Think about all your favourite festive treats and traditions… snowmen, Christmas crackers, candy canes and of course our giant Christmas pudding, which really is a must see!” BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas is on selected dates from the 2nd – 23rd December and tickets cost just £15.50 per person. Each child will receive a craft to take away, as well a copy of the brand-new Christmas book, written especially for the event! Find out more, see BeWILDerwood’s biggest ever Christmas pudding and get your tickets to your new festive family tradition on the website: http://www.cheshire.bewilderwood.co.uk.
  • Voting has started for Britain’s Favourite Market 2023 and after the first week Ellesmere Port is in the top 30 by number of votes. Ellesmere Port Market is asking all their shoppers to vote on the NABMA (National Association British Markets Authority) website: https://nabma.com/vote-for-britains-favourite-market/ Each year NABMA open the lines for the public to vote for their favourite market. Ellesmere Port is competing in two categories: for the title of Britain`s Favourite Market 2023 and also the Best Large Indoor Market. The judging includes a public vote, a mystery shopper visit during November or December and a judging panel from NABMA. Ellesmere Port market is putting the final touches to their Christmas plans and has a lot of surprises planned over the next few months including new traders and a still under wraps children’s play area. Look out for the voting posters in the market that just need scanning to go straight to the voting page and you can vote every time you visit as individuals are allowed to vote once per day. Voting for the Favourite Market closes on 13 December. The Market is open six days a week (closed on Wednesday) with a flea market on Sunday, Monday and Thursday. The market website:  www.ellesmereport.market includes details about the traders and special events taking place.
  • To date the Household Support Fund has helped support many vulnerable residents within Cheshire West pay for energy bills, food, clothing, and wider essentials, including vouchers during school holidays. In this latest round, £2,290,047 has been allocated to the Council and is available until 31 March 2023. The Fund is intended to support a wide range of low- income households in need including families with children of all ages, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people. Working collaboratively with the Poverty Truth Advisory Board, partner organisations and schools, the Council has set out clear eligibility criteria. This information together with a list of partners supporting the scheme can be found on the Council’s website. A simple application form is also available for anyone not applying through one of the partner organisations. Apply online via the Household Support Fund web page Telephone: 0808 175 3599 (Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm or between 10am to 2pm at weekends).
  • An ‘anti-rom com’ is heading to Chester Little Theatre for the venue’s final show of the year. Perhaps not your typical Christmas show, Gruesome Playground Injuries follows classmates Kayleen and Doug over thirty years; their lives intersecting at the most turbulent and unusual intervals, leading the two childhood friends to compare the scars and the physical calamities that keep drawing them together. US playwright Rajiv Joseph’s unconventional show was described as ‘mystical, arresting, and quirkily amusing’ by the Washington Post and Chester-based Director, Kelly Cowley is hoping to create a production that earns similarly positive reviews this December at the city’s longest running theatre. “The two-person cast have the unique challenge of playing Kayleen and Doug from age eight to thirty-eight, showing how they impact each other’s lives from adolescence into adulthood” Kelly said. “Half black comedy and half intimate relationship saga, Gruesome Playground Injuries is a play full of humanity at its messiest and most vulnerable.” The show features Heather Milam as Kayleen, making her Chester Little Theatre debut following her recent move to the area from the States, and Ally Goodman as Doug, in his first appearance at the theatre since 2019’s The Real Inspector Hound. Chester Little Theatre was formed in 1944 and its present venue in Gloucester Street was bought by the theatre’s members in 1962. The Theatre – now a registered charity – is entirely self-supporting and run by its members.  Gruesome Playground Injuries will be performed at Chester Little Theatre from 1st to 3rd December 2022. Tickets are available now via chesterlittletheatre.co.uk or by calling TicketSource on 0333 666 3366.

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