Today’s Theatre Events
29/07/19 – 23/08/19
Theatretrain return for their thirteenth year of Summerschool. Week-long workshops with classes in dancing, acting and singing; each one working towards an end of week production for family and friends in the studio theatre.
Each week runs from 9.30-3.30 from Monday to friday and is suitable for children age 5-18
There are also shorter sessions for younger children on Thursdays from 12-3 and Fridays, 12-3.30. These sessions are suitable for ages 3-5. They’ll also have the opportunity to perform in the end of week show.
29th July – 2nd August – A WEEK OF DISNEY featuring Aladdin and The Lion King
5th – 9th August – THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
12th – 16th August – ANNIE
19th – 23rd August – A WEEK IN OZ featuring The Wizard of Oz, Wicked and The Wiz
Theatretrain have weekend classes in Chester, Wrexham and Mold. Join their regular sessions here at The Forum Studio Theatre every Friday during term time from 4.30 – 7.30pm or visit www.theatretrain.co.uk to find your nearest school
£130 per child per week
£90 for a sibling or second week
TINIES & MINIS (ages 3-5)
£30 per child per week
£25 for a second week
Tel 07809 871600
MY FAIR LADY
04/09/19 – 07/09/19
Lerner and Lowe’s classic musical based on George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’. My Fair Lady includes the wonderful ‘On The Street Where You Live’, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ and ‘I’m Getting Married in The Morning.’
Evening performances at 7.30pm plus Saturday matinee at 2.30pm
Tickets from £14
Box office: 01352 701521
VOICES IN HARMONY RAISE THE ROOF AT SELL OUT TOWN HALL CONCERT
One of Chester’s top choirs is celebrating following the success of its recent sell out concert at Chester Town Hall which saw a warm welcome being extended to two visiting choirs from the USA.
Organised by Chester Male Voice Choir, the concert “Voices in Harmony” was staged at Chester Town Hall recently before a capacity audience and in the presence of the President of Chester Male Voice Choir, the Duchess of Westminster. The concert featured a 60 strong mixed choir made up of members of Orange Community Master Chorale and Master Chorale of Saddleback Valley from California who were visiting Chester as part of a 10 day concert tour of Scotland, Wales and Northern England. The event also saw several choristers making their performance debut with the Chester choir following a successful drive to recruit new members.
The event featured performances by Chester Male Voice Choir under the Musical Direction of Rodney T Jones with accompaniment by pianist Helen Jackson together with a varied programme of songs from the two American choirs and their featured soloists under the direction of Michael Short, the founder and Musical Director of Orange Community Master Chorale and Charles Stephenson, Artistic Director of The Master Chorale of Saddleback Valley with accompaniment by pianist Richard Terry.
The evening drew to a close with a rousing rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Broadway musical “Carousel” featuring all three choirs which received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the sell out crowd. Following the concert, members of all three choirs enjoyed a reception at the Town Hall where commemorative gifts were exchanged and new friendships formed.
Speaking about the success of the joint concert, John Walsh, the Chairman of Chester Male Voice Choir said “It was a great pleasure for us to host our fellow choristers from California who were a great bunch of people. The capacity audience showed much appreciation for their programme and our own with our joint finale piece, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” bringing a standing ovation. I was delighted that our President the Duchess of Westminster attended as our honoured guest and, as ever, she chatted with many of the visiting choristers and audience members during the interval. In the exchange of gifts following the concert I was very happy to receive, on behalf of the choir, a key to the visitors’ home City of Orange with a declaration signed by the City’s Mayor. I am grateful to our ever growing number of friends, fans and followers for supporting us once again and contributing to our visitors’ final concert of their tour ending on such a big high”.
With a busy few months still ahead, preparations are also underway for the staging of the Choir’s Autumn Festival Concert on Saturday 19th October at Chester Town Hall with special guest the renowned Welsh Opera and Classical singer Rhys Meirion. Born in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd in Wales, Rhys Meirion originally worked as a primary school headteacher at Ysgol Pentrecelyn near Ruthin, before leaving in 1997 to study opera at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He is one of The Three Welsh Tenors/Tri Tenor Cymru and his album with Bryn Terfel, ‘Benedictus’, was nominated for a Classical Brit Award in 2006. He has sung the part of Rodolfo with Frankfurt Opera, West Australian Opera and at Opera Australia, and the title role in Gounod’s Faust at the Hong Kong Opera Society amongst others and is delighted to be joining the Choir for this very special Autumn Festival concert.
The concert will start at 7.30 pm and there will be an interval bar available. Full details of the event can be found at www.chestermalevoice.com/concerts
where tickets can be bought online. Tickets can also be purchased in person from the Visitor Information Centre at Chester Town Hall or by telephone on 07894 509529.
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
29/11/19 – 04/01/20
Christmas may still be several months away but preparations are in full swing at a Chester Theatre for the staging of one of the highlights in the City’s annual Christmas calendar and as well as celebrations to mark a very special anniversary.
Produced by Tip Top Productions at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester’s very own traditional family friendly Pantomime has become a firm favourite with young and old alike in the 10 years since the company staged the festive treat in the City for the first time back in 2009 and the show’s producers promising that this year’s Panto will be bigger and better than ever before. The cast of this year’s Panto, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” gathered at the theatre for the first time recently and are all thrilled to be bringing the festive tale to life on stage in Chester. The show, written and directed by Peter Swingler OBE will be staged at the popular City centre venue from Friday 29th November 2019 – Saturday 4th January 2020.
The fully professional cast which this year features several new faces including Bethan Fflint as Snow White. Bethan trained at the London School of Musical Theatre and recently completed a run in The Little Mermaid. Previous roles include: Mari in Welsh premier of My Land’s Shore and as a vocalist with the Headliners Theatre Company on board P&O cruises fleet of luxury cruise ships. Previous pantomime experience includes playing Malevola, the baddie in Sleeping Beauty. Bethan is delighted to be joining Tip Top in Chester for this year for Chester’s very own traditional family Pantomime.
No Pantomime would be complete without it’s brave hero and so back by popular demand once again this year having played the title role of Aladdin in last year’s box office smash, Chester’s own Ashley Sollars has the job of waking Snow White from her slumbers as the show’s hero Archie. Born in Chester and raised in Broughton, professional Actor and Singer Ashley is delighted to be returning to appear is this year’s Pantomime. Ashley first set foot on stage with Tip Top Productions in a production of “Godspell” aged just 11 and went on to appear in a whole host of Tip Top’s shows before becoming a professional performer and embarking on a career which to date has included TV show “Don’t Stop Believing” for Channel 5, and “Back to Broadway” for Main Feature Productions in Dubai. Most recently, Ashley spent several years travelling the world whilst performing in production shows for Princess Cruises as a lead vocalist before recently returning to the North West and touring theatres as Frankie Valli in “Bye Bye Baby” which features the music of legendary 60s group the Four Seasons. Earlier this year, Ashley appeared in the very first stage adaptation of the BBC TV comedy “Coupling” which was staged at The Forum Studio Theatre and directed by his partner Josephine McHugh who is playing The Wicked Queen this Christmas.
Actress and Singer Josephine who is also a vocal coach has been performing professionally for the last 10 years including as lead vocalist in production shows on board various cruise lines as well as various UK and European tours, theme park shows and a vast array of professional pantomimes. She is looking forward to lots of fun taunting Snow White at Christmas when she plays the Wicked Queen!
Also joining Tip Top’s Panto family for the first time is Rich Roberts who takes on the role of the children’s favourite, Simple Simon. Rich has enjoyed the last few years working on family shows, particularly working with Sooty at various venues throughout the UK. Rich’s other performance credits include live touring stage versions of “Rastamouse” and childhood favourites “The Clangers”.
No Pantomime would be complete without its Dame and this year’s show is no exception with Tip Top favourite Andrew Rawlinson-Heath donning some outrageous costumes as Nurse Kitty Litter and making his Dame debut. Andrew has been a big hit with panto audiences over the last two years with his now famous “Wotcha Mate” catchphrase and had the audience in fits of laughter as the Slave of the Ring in “Aladdin” last year. Andrew’s professional theatre credits include playing Angel in the London production of “Rent” and as Makka Pakka in a national touring production of “In The Night Garden” as well as countless appearances in panto and musical theatre productions with Tip Top and other local companies.
Speaking about the company celebrating 10 years of presenting Panto in Chester, writer and director Peter Swingler OBE said “In addition to this being the 10th anniversary of us staging Pantomimes in Chester, it’s also 30 years since I founded what was then known as Tip Top Musicals so this is quite a big year for us. Tip Top’s first panto was Cinderella on 2nd January 1996 at William Aston Hall, Wrexham, featuring Marcher Sound presenters Kevin Howard and Steve Furnell plus legendary Wrexham dancer, choreographer and panto producer in her own right, Kathie Dougall MBE. The show was written and directed by Peter who started writing pantomime scripts in 1976. Peter added “Since Tip Top’s arrival at the Forum Studio Theatre Chester in 2007 our pantomime has grown from strength to strength and is regarded by many of our supporters as the ‘Must see’ at Christmas. At first I was hesitant in bringing such a big production to the intimate studio but paradoxically the show works for our family audiences because the children love being right in the action yet we are able to retain all the traditional aspect of pantomime. I know that our audiences are in for another festive treat as we present Chester’s one and only traditional family friendly Pantomime at the Forum Studio Theatre once again this year.”
The company will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a special show “The Best of Times” at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester from Thursday 24th – Saturday 26th October at 7.30pm with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday 26th October. The show will feature songs from the many West End and Broadway musicals staged by Tip Top over the last 30 years since the staging of its first ever show “Showtime” at Grove Park Theatre in Wrexham in September 1989.
Full details of “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs”,”The Best of Times” and all upcoming shows and events at The Forum Studio Theatre including dates and performance times can be found online at www.chestertheatre.co.uk
. Tickets can also be booked in person at the Visitor Information Centre at Chester Town Hall and the Tourist Information Centre in Wrexham. Alternatively, contact the box office on 01244 341296.