There is, quite simply, oodles of good stuff going on in and around Chester at the moment. Let’s take a glance at just some of your options, if you are stuck for ideas in our fair city. We’ll be adding to and updating this as the weeks go by.
Head into the city centre for our annual colourful Diwali celebrations, which are always a feast for the senses. There’ll be a Diwali Festival celebrating the Hindu Festival of Light in the city on Saturday (21 October).
The festival includes a parade put on by the Sanjhi Indian Association, which sets off from the Town Hall Square at 12pm, culminating in a display of traditional Indian dancing at 12.30pm.
There will also be free workshops, including Rangoli Diwali art cards, Diya Indian candles, Henna hand painting and Indian face painting, These take place from 2–3pm at the Unity Centre in Cuppin Street, where there will also be Indian food available from £3.
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
Theatr Clwyd in Mold
For a heady dose of the feel good factor and some music to get you tapping your toes, check out Theatr Clwyd’s latest production of this Oliver-award winning musical comedy. The play looks at the relationship between mothers and daughters and the challenge of finding your own voice. It was brought to the screen in 1998 in a film starring Jane Horrocks, Brenda Blethyn and Michael Caine.
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice runs until 28 October.
The Killing of Sister George
Forum Studio Theatre
(From left) Marian Newman, Sally Dillon and Fiona Wheatcroft in rehearsals for The Killing of Sister George
The talented team at Tip Top Productions are bringing cult classic The Killing of Sister George to the stage at the Forum Studio Theatre.
This dark comedy, which caused controversy when it was first staged in the 1960s, runs from 25-28 October. It examines the breakdown in the tempestuous relationship of actor June Buckridge and Alice ‘Childie’ McNaught. June struggles with a fall in ratings which could mean the end of the much loved district nurse role which has brought her fame via a radio show. The play’s director, Chester actor and writer Mark Newman describes June as a “cigar chomping, gin guzzling bully”. It certainly sounds intriguing to us. For more info, check out the Tip Top Productions website or call their box office on 01244 341296.
Meanwhile, never ones to rest on their laurels, Tip Top are also in rehearsals for The Great British Soap Opera, which runs 8-11 November. This is a musical parody of some of the nation’s much loved soap operas, with the cast portraying the stars of Victoria Square, warts and all.
Our cultural and arts centre goes from strength to strength, with a range of events, from seasonal touring productions of shows such as Blood Brothers (runs until 14 October) to boutique cinema offerings and a multitude of community-focused events. It’s well worth checking out the Storyhouse website to find out more.
From Pop Art to digital art
Chester is also home to a range of art, from Pop Art at the former library building on Northgate Street, to two new digital art installations on the theme of water. The Pop Art in Print exhibition, which includes work from such luminaries as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, runs until 22 October. It’s been brought to Chester by Chester Visual Arts and curated by the V&A. Catch it while you can.
Maelstrom, launched on 27 October, aims to quite literally shed light on the topic of Chester’s canals. Artist David Cotterrell aims to look at Chester’s evolving relationship with water. Cotterrell’s permanent art installation at the Shropshire Union Canal by King Charles Tower will see different colours projected on to the water to give the impression of a whirlpool that appears and disappears.
Meanwhile, installation artist Bedwyr Williams brings his Roman-inspired digital art, Hypercaust to Storyhouse from 27 October.
Bedwyr Williams explores past and present day Chester in a video which brings to life the Roman fortress bath house that once stood close to the Storyhouse site. There’ll be 3D animation with help from local company Take 27, along with nods to modern day Chester anecdotes and tittle tattle in the piece, which will be shown on the screen that stands where the old Odeon cinema screen used to be.