As Chester takes baby steps towards coming out of lockdown, alongside the rest of the country, we offer a round-up of some of the good stuff to see and do over the coming weeks. We’ll be adding to this as the weeks go by.
So what’s happening in Chester over the coming weeks and months as we come out of the various Covid-19 lockdowns? Let’s see, well there’s a fair bit of stuff to see and do as we ease ourselves into this post-lockdown world.
Let’s begin with Storyhouse, which is coming out of hibernation on Monday (12 April). We’ve missed you, Storyhouse. We want to be back in The Kitchen, catching up with friends and loved ones over a coffee or a delicious bite to eat. The library will also be back open from Monday, if you fancy getting a few new books on the go.
Meanwhile, live events are scheduled to return from 17 May, with the likes of Mark Radcliffe and Chester opera duo Belle Voci staging events at Storyhouse in June. If you want to hear more about Belle Voci star Emily’s experiences of coping with lockdown and how she is looking forward to performing in Chester again, then listen to our podcast interview with her here – https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-sstwr-f93a1a. Belle Voci, who were finalists in TV talent show The Voice in 2018, come to Storyhouse on 18 June.
Writer, musician and broadcaster Mark Radcliffe will be curating and presenting a series of established and emerging folk acts on 3 and 25 June. This will include The Breath on 3 June, featuring the music of Rioghnach Connolly and Stuart McCallum.
For drama fans, there’s a play called Madame Ovary being staged from 21-23 May, featuring Rosa Hesmondhalgh. The play is based on her experience of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 23.
It’s a family affair in May, with Rosa Hesmondhalgh’s aunt, Julie Hesmondhalgh bringing her acclaimed one-woman show The Greatest Play in the History of the World to Storyhouse from 26-30 May. The show tells the story of two neighbours and the people living on their street, while looking at the nuances of life, the possibilities of science and the meaning of love.
Dance fans will be looking forward to watching Rambert2 perform on 8-9 June, with 11 young ballet dancers gracing the stage at Storyhouse.
Climb Every Mountain
Meanwhile, later on in the summer, there’s a chance to Climb Every Mountain, or something like that, when Kendal Mountain Festival Tour comes to town on 2 July. Expect stories from around the world told by an array of travellers, athletes, activists and creatives.
Social distancing measures will be in place for these performances.
Storyhouse’s artistic director Alex Clifton said: “It’s wonderful to be announcing these new shows which celebrate the best of live music, theatre, dance, comedy and the spoken word.
“The last 12 months have been a challenging time for artists and audiences alike, and so there’s a real sense of joy which comes with being able to fill Storyhouse with fantastic live performance once again.”
To find out more and book tickets, visit storyhouse.com.
Open air theatre
Of course, we can’t talk about the good stuff to see and do in Chester without also mentioning our ever-popular open air theatre too.
This summer’s line-up includes Pride and Prejudice, The Jungle Book and the Merry Wives of Windsor.
Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale, The Jungle Book launches the summer of Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre on 29 May, with an adaptation from the pen of playwright Glyn Maxwell.
Shakespearean farce the Merry Wives of Windsor kicks off on 4 June, followed by Pride and Prejudice on 9 July. Pride and Prejudice see the welcome return to the city of former Corrie star, playwright and Chester Mystery Plays 2018 writer Deborah McAndrew, who has adapted Jane Austen’s romantic comedy for the outdoor stage.
The open air theatre will go right through the summer until 30 August.
Alex Clifton said: “We are promising another barn-raising summer of joy as we emerge into the summer! Merry Wives is a show which demands that you just turn off, sit back and giggle – it’s what we all need this year!
“Pride and Prejudice will hit all the sweet spots – as a romance and as a narrative. Jane Austen’s classic sense of humour is so delicious and still feels very potent. Whilst for kids and the young at heart The Jungle Book will be full of music, full of heart and a great homecoming story.”
We will be following this up with more info about what’s on in Chester over the summer. If you have an event coming up in Chester over the summer months then please send the details to us via firstname.lastname@example.org.