Today’s Theatre Events


Tickets available from our box office 10am-1pm Monday to Friday on 01244 341296, or in person.

Jo Lloyd as bitchy newspaper columnist Doris Wallace and Sally Dillon as her long-suffering PA Peggy in a scene from “Silly Cow” by Ben Elton which is being staged by Tip Top Productions at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester.


Following on from the success of “Charlie’s Aunt”, Chester and Wrexham based theatre company Tip Top Productions are preparing to stage their next play as their Spring Season at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester continues. The next offering at the popular city centre theatre is the laugh out loud comedy “Silly Cow” by Ben Elton which runs from Tuesday April 23rd – Saturday 27th April at 7.30pm with a Matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday 27th April.
The Play, described as a slick, razor-tongued modern satire on the viciousness of tabloid journalism with an ingeniously dramatic final scene features some familiar faces from some of Tip Top’s best known productions including Jo Lloyd(The Vicar of Dibley)as the acid tongued columnist Doris Wallace, Sally Dillon(Fawlty Towers) as her meek and mild PA Peggy,Mike Jenkinson-Deakin(Priscilla Queen Of The Desert) as straight laced accountant Douglas and Sam Thompson(Girl’s Night Out) as Eduardo, Doris’s annoying and immature toy boy.
Silly Cow will be directed for Tip Top by Simon Philips who said “Silly Cow” is a fast paced play with some hilariously acerbic lines which we guarantee will have the audience laughing out loud. When it was first presented in 1991 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London, Elton aimed to shock in the pre-Labour nineties and some of the lines are really cutting. The plot’s pace increases so rapidly and the sudden wicked twists and turns will have you guessing right up to the end.”
Simon, who also plays sleazy newspaper editor Sidney added “The plot centres around Doris (played by Jo Lloyd), a newspaper columnist and reviewer with a talent for caustic insults and career assassination who is is being sued by the actress Trudi Hobson, after writing an article which savaged the respected thespian with accusations of small talent and large thighs. The queen of spleen isn’t worried: she’s got a job offer, a plan for a television show, and the cleavage to help the judge see things her way. But she’s about to discover that even journalists can’t escape reaping what they have sown, and that there’s nothing quite as dramatic as an actress’s revenge!”
Full details of “Silly Cow” and all upcoming shows and events and The Forum Studio Theatre can be found where tickets can be booked online. Alternatively, contact the Box Office on 01244 341296. Tickets can also be booked at the Visitor Information Centre at The Town Hall in Chester.




Newly Formed Chester Theatre Company To Make Debut At Storyhouse

The company, Against The Grain was set up recently by a group of friends all of whom have been making a significant contribution to theatre in Chester for many years. The company’s first project, “Worldly Women” will be staged in the Garret theatre at Storyhouse at 1.30pm on Saturday 27th April and forms part of “Storyhouse Women, a weekend long festival of events which focuses on Women’s issues. The festival will feature spoken word performances, dance, music, workshops, talks and DJ sets as well as several headliners over a 3 day period from Friday 26th – Sunday 28th April.

Award winning Writer Jan Bengree with Against The Grain’s Marian Newman who will perform Jan’s “Worldly Women” at Storyhouse at part of Storyhouse Women.

Written by award winning local writer Jan Bengree specially for Storyhouse Women, Against The Grain’s debut production “Worldly Women” is a series of monologues which tell the stories of 3 very different women. They will be performed by Actress Marian Newman whose theatre credits include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Shirley Valentine, Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf, Allo Allo, Blithe Spirit, Fawlty Towers, Habeas Corpus and Improbable Fiction. Most recently, Marian played June “George” Buckridge in Tip Top Productions staging of The Killing of Sister George at The Forum Studio Theatre In Chester to great critical acclaim.

In turn laugh out loud funny, poignant and achingly heart breaking, the monologues entitled “Morning has broken”, “Joannie next door” and “Aunt Clara’s gloves” focus on the lives of three women at different ages of life from early 30s to old age and cover subjects including memory loss and gossipy next door neighbours whilst also tackling hard hitting issues like bullying, all from a Women’s perspective.

Speaking about seeing her latest work being produced for the stage, writer Jan Bengree whose recent projects include “Loud Hailers” for Chester Little Theatre written to commemorate 100 years since Women acquired the right to vote said “I am delighted to have written for Against The Grain,  I am so enjoying the collaborative process of working with them to bring the characters in the monologues to life on stage. In a single hour, the wonderfully talented Marian Newman passes through her 30’s, 50’s and 70’s, as she depicts episodes in the lives of 3 very different women, in both tender and humorous fashion. It’s been a joy to work with this new company and I wish them every success with their future projects.”

l-r Mark Newman and Stuart Evans of newly formed Chester based theatre company Against The Grain with Jan Bengree, writer of “Worldly Women”

The monologues will be co-directed by  Mark Newman and Stuart Evans who have many years of acting and directing experience between them. Since first appearing in a production of the hit comedy Bouncers for Tip Top Productions in 2001, they have since gone on to work together numerous times on productions including Breezeblock Park, Flint Street Nativity, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Fawlty Towers. Most recently Mark and Stuart co-directed The Killing of Sister George at The Forum Studio Theatre In Chester.

 Speaking about how Against The Grain was formed Mark, a former Deputy Front of House Manager at The Chester Gateway Theatre and Stuart, a professional Actor with credits including the BBC comedy Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps said “Having all worked together in many productions over the years, it’s something we’ve talked about as a group of friends for a while now. Being invited by Jan to produce Worldly Women for Storyhouse Women was the kick we needed and Against The Grain was born. We hope the monologues will be the first of many productions under the Against The Grain banner”.

Joining Mark, Stuart and Marian in setting up Against The Grain is company stage manager for Worldly Women Paul Crofts who has previously worked alongside the trio on various productions at venues including The Forum Studio Theatre and Chester Little Theatre, most recently as Stage Manager and Props Master for The Killing of Sister George for Tip Top Productions. Paul, a writer and theatre reviewer for the respected blog and website We Are Chester will be also putting his marketing and PR skills to good use promoting the company’s future productions.

Full details of “Worldly Women” and the full programme of events for Storyhouse Women can be found




We may be only 3 months in to 2019 but the producers of Chester’s very own traditional family friendly Pantomime have announced that tickets for this year’s production are already on sale with demand expected to be higher than ever following last year’s record breaking show.

Chester and Wrexham based Theatre company Tip Top Productions have announced that the popular Forum Theatre in Chester will once again be the venue for Chester’s very own Pantomime with the company bringing perennial Children’s favourite “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” to life on stage from Friday 29th November to Saturday 4th January 2020.

The announcement follows the sell out success of last year’s Pantomime “Aladdin” which broke all box office records at the theatre and was seen by more than 6000 people during its 51 show run. Written by Peter Swingler OBE and Directed by Steve Davies, the show and attracted several 5 star reviews on Social Media and Trip Advisor as well as receiving praise from the press including respected national trade publication The Stage, We Are Chester, The Chester Blog and local newspapers. The Pantomime was praised by Catherine Jones for The Stage as “Promising magic, mystery, song, dance and and a fat man in a frock, the show delivers a popular people’s panto that punches above its weight” whilst  We Are Chester’s Antonia Jones hailed it as “A Must See Festive Treat”. Respected local journalist Jo Henwood also gave the production a glowing 5 star review calling it a “jewel of a show”. The production also attracted 5 stars from the popular Twitter account “The Chester Blog” which praised the production for its finely tuned script and audience participation and “a group of local actors and production staff at the top of their game”.

We look foward to welcoming audiences old and new to Tip Top Productions and The Forum Studio Theatre during 2019.”

Full details of “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” and all upcoming shows and events at The Forum Studio Theatre can be found online at where tickets can be booked online. Alternatively contact the Box Office on  01244 341296. Tickets can also be booked at the Visitor Information Centre at Chester Town Hall.