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Chester theatre company puts on record number of new plays this summer

Theatre in the Quarter's youth groups gear up for bumper programme

Chester’s Theatre in the Quarter announce a season of new musical plays by young people. Picture by Mark Carline(Image: UGC TCH)

Rock bands helping asylum seekers, seed-bearing strangers overturning evil dictators and highwaymen and women demanding your money or your life on the old road into the city of Chester.

These are some of the characters which form part of an eclectic mix of new musical plays which have been created by Chester’s young theatre-makers this summer.

Theatre in the Quarter’s three youth theatre groups are set for a bumper summer of theatre making across the city over the next few weeks.

Firstly, Jigsaw, the group of city-wide younger children, will be presenting The Promise, a play with hard hitting environmental messages – The city of Barleycorn is barren, hopeless and desperate, under the thumb of a vicious dictator but can a mysterious stranger change the fate of a once joyous and plentiful city?

Chester’s Theatre in the Quarter announce a season of new musical plays by young people. Quartz are pictured rehearsing The Highwayman(Image: UGC TCH)

Meanwhile over in Blacon, the young performers will stage their own re-telling of Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince.

Rewind, which is delivered by Cheshire Dance and Theatre in the Quarter, has decided to replace the prince in the original story with a rock band called ‘Swagalicious’ and rather than a statue of a prince helping a little matchgirl and a dressmaker, this rock band want to help a family of refugees, an overworked teacher and doctor and a hairdresser who has lost his job.

Rewind will share its new play Swagalicious with its peers as it tours the six schools in Blacon next week before performing at the Blacon Festival on Saturday, July 1.

Chester’s Theatre in the Quarter announce a season of new musical plays by young people. Jigsaw are pictured creating The Promise(Image: UGC TCH)

Meanwhile, more than 30 teenagers will descend upon the The Carriage Shed next to Chester Station to tell an almost untold story of the ancient Highwaymen – and women – of Cheshire in a boldly modern way.

Quartz, the youth theatre for over 13-year-olds, have been devising a new musical based on a lesser known Cheshire story with a new music score by Joseph Mann.

The company will also be opening its doors to new young faces who want to create exciting theatre over the summer. Now in its third year, a full programme of summer schools will take place in the city’s St Mary’s Creative Space.

Chester’s Theatre in the Quarter announce a season of new musical plays by young people. Jigsaw are pictured creating The Promise(Image: UGC TCH)

Artistic director of the whole company Matt Baker said: “This is a very exciting time to be in Chester with so many opportunities for young people to take part in the arts. We are delighted to say that by the end of August over 300 young people will have created and performed seven brand new pieces of theatre with music in different locations in the city, and that is just with our company.”

Anyone interested in seeing one of these performances, or taking part in a new play in the summer should visit www.theatreinthequarter.co.uk or call 07747 110933.

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