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Chester theatre company to stage spooky award-winning play at The Live Rooms

By Paul Crofts

Rehearsals are underway as a Chester theatre company prepares to bring a play with a spooky flavour to the stage in the city.

Against The Grain are set to stage The Weir by Conor McPherson at The Live Rooms in Chester from Tuesday 9 August to Thursday 11 August at 7.30pm. The play marks a welcome return to the popular city centre venue for the company, which previously staged co-founder Mark Newman’s twisted comedy Mr Dumpling last year.

The cast of The Weir in rehearsals for the play which will be staged at The Live Rooms in Chester

Following on from the success of Mr Dumpling, members of Against The Grain were mostly recently seen on stage in Chester Little Theatre’s production of Glut! – a brand-new play by local writer Jan Bengree – and prior to lockdown several members of the company also appeared in the Little Theatre’s acclaimed production of The Ladykilers. 

The Weir is set in a small pub in a remote part of rural Ireland where, over the course of an evening, locals gather to sit, drink and tell tall tales. Their comfortable routine is disturbed by the arrival of an attractive newcomer with her own eerie tale to tell.

Poster image for The Weir, which will be staged by theatre company Against The Grain at The Live Rooms in Chester

Written in 1997, the play was first staged at London’s Royal Court Theatre before transferring to Broadway. It won an Olivier award for best new play in 1997 and was voted one of the most influential plays of the 20th Century in a poll conducted by The National Theatre. The play will be directed for Against The Grain by Marian Newman.

Cast members Mark Newman, Stuart Evans, Dhugal Fulton, Simon Phillips and Laura Smith recently joined Marian Newman for a first read-through of the script as rehearsals got underway. 

Cast members Simon Phillips, Dhugal Fulton and Laura Smith in rehearsals for The Weir”which will be staged at The Live Rooms in Chester

Speaking about staging the play, Marian said “Most of us love a good story, it’s the reason we go to the theatre, to be entertained by a good yarn. The Weir offers us just that – a group of friends and a welcome stranger who engage in friendly banter in the pub and tell stories to impress, to spook and to reveal things that make them the people they are.

“We chose to produce The Weir because it’s a beautifully written play about ordinary people who have experienced something extraordinary and have their tales to tell. We are very much looking forward to returning to The Live Rooms following the positive reception for Mr Dumpling, our previous production at the venue last year.” 

Full details of The Weir can be found at where tickets can be booked online.

About Angela Ferguson (238 Articles)
I'm a writer, journalist and blogger, as well as the founder and editor of culture webzine I'm also a university lecturer in journalism and media communications and a radio presenter for hire.

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