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Tip top joy at panto success

Company looks forward to 2017 and 10th anniversary in Chester theatre space

The Voice star Joe Woolford as Jack and Kevin Dewsbury as Dame Trot with Daisy the Cow (Andew Rawlinson-Heath and Laura Roberts) in a scene from Tip Top's smash hit pantomime of 2016 Jack and the Beanstalk at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester

Chester-based Tip Top Productions is celebrating breaking all box office records with its pantomime at the Forum Studio Theatre this Christmas.

The company, which is gearing up to marks its 10th anniversary in its Chester home presented 43 shows which were seen by almost 6,000 people.

The pantomime, Jack and The Beanstalk, starring The Voice star Joe Woolford ran for four weeks in the 140 seater studio space housed within the former Chester Gateway Theatre building.

Tip Top’s founder and chair Peter Swingler OBE said: “The feedback from our audiences has been amazing and to hear the reaction in the theatre, particularly from the children really does make it all worthwhile. All our volunteers have as ever been selfless in helping to make sure the theatre runs smoothly during our busiest time of the year and we have already had enquiries about bookings for this year’s panto!”

Peter added, “We have a great season of plays and other events lined up for 2017 which is our 10th year here at the Forum Studio”.

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Upcoming productions include the debut production by the newly formed On The Mark Theatre Company as they present the award winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee from February 1 - 4.

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, the show, directed and musically directed by Chester’s Simon Phillips, is a musical which has charmed audiences across the world with its effortless wit and humour as it tells the story of an eclectic group of six mid-pubescent teens (all played by adults!) as they vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime.

The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester

Half-term fun at the theatre can be found in the shape of The Boy Who Fell Into A Book from February 22 - 25.

Chosen intentionally to catch the imagination of the whole family during the half term holiday and is suitable for ages seven and above, the play is a fantasy adventure, served up with Alan Ayckbourn’s magic and lashings of imagination; an exciting journey into the unknown as one bedtime, Kevin suddenly finds himself in the thick of the action alongside the hero of the book he’s reading, the streetwise investigator Rockfist Slim as they battle to escape the clutches of the mysterious underworld baddie known only as The Green Shark.

The play will be directed by Phil Cross who last year brought his hugely successful Wizard School to Chester at St Mary’s Centre.

Tip Top are also bringing back the ever popular John Godber hit Bouncers by popular demand from March 22 - 25 which the company have produced on no less than seven occasions over the years, most recently in 2013.

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The show will be directed by Peter Swingler who said: “Bursting with imagination and wit and presented by just four actors, Bouncers is an outrageous and hilarious parody of the disco scene. The four brutish bouncers of the title portray over twenty different characters as we are invited for a night out on the town. We see them as giggly girls and lads on the make preparing for the big night out as we follow their progress to the disco floor. There, we also meet Hooray Henrys, pogoing punks and drunken slobs! The evening’s events are set against the tatty glitzy glamour, flashing lights and pulsating beat of the nightclub scene. An exhilarating night out for all concerned.”

Full details of all upcoming shows and events at The Forum Studio Theatre can be found online at www.chestertheatre.co.uk where tickets can also be booked online.

Alternatively, contact the Box Office on 01244 341296.

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