If you went to school in Blacon you need to be at Chester Cathedral later this month.

Chester company Theatre in the Quarter (TIQ) is embarking on a large-scale choral project entitled Best Days Of Our Lives based on stories collected from pupils (past and present) at Blacon’s schools.

In the production, a partnership between TIQ, with Blacon Education Village and Homegrown Dance Theatre Company, people from the local community will work alongside professional actors.

The project aims to challenge the historical negative perceptions of the area, to raise aspirations and to create a sense of pride among the local community.

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The production will be accompanied by a short film, created by Chester-based Dee Digital, featuring stories and music from the project and become a permanent resource and legacy for the Blacon community on its journey of renewal and regeneration.

The 200-strong company drawn from the community of Blacon will be led by actors Judi Jones, Rachael Rae and Francis Tucker.

Judi’s extensive credits include Heartbeat, Fat Friends and the controlling Barbara Kirk in Emmerdale. Rachael has recently been seen playing the lead role in Mam I’m ‘Ere at the Royal Court, Liverpool. Francis Tucker is best known to audiences in the North West for his show-stealing performances as the Dame in the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse pantomimes.

Exceptional reputation

Chairman of Blacon Education Village Dave Williams said: “Theatre in the Quarter has an exceptional reputation for creating work which means something to communities that are often perceived as difficult to engage or ‘hard to reach’, providing inspiration and aspiration to so many. They skillfully engage children and young people alongside intergenerational working through tireless and enthusiastic determination.

“Blacon is a thriving community that has seen educational standards rise over the past ten years. Pupil numbers are buoyant and aspiration is high – yet we continue to battle perceptions that often hinder our quest to drive improvement.

“Theatre in the Quarter has a habit of leaving a legacy that is long-lasting and creates sustainable impact, and we believe Best Days Of Our Lives will genuinely instil pride, social cohesion, a sense of positive identity and celebrate the deserving regeneration the community is currently experiencing.”

Best Days Of Our Lives will take place at Chester Cathedral on Wednesday, October 21 at 1.30pm and 7.30pm and Thursday, October 22 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £7 and £5 from 01244 324756 or online at www.chestercathedral.com.

The project is made possible by generous support from Blacon Education Village, Avenue Services, Cheshire West and Chester Council and The Earl of Chester Trust.