A Chester-based theatre company is to celebrate 10 years in the city with a series of projects involving a range of people.
Theatre in the Quarter has plans to mark a decade of success with a large scale musical production at Chester Cathedral, youth theatre, a magical woodland Christmas experience and performance projects in other towns and cities in the region.
To mark its celebratory year, artistic director Matt Baker will create a Theatre in the Quarter chorus, open to anyone over 16.
He said: “We have always had a rich tradition of involving talented singers and musicians in our work and so we thought it would be great to make them a main feature of our 10th year activity.”
The chorus will perform at a special gala performance at The Hammond Theatre in September and feature in the new musical production, based on school life in Blacon. Best Days of Our Lives will be performed in Chester Cathedral in October.
The company was recently appointed as the cultural programming agents for St Mary’s Centre by Cheshire West and Chester Council to create seasons of concerts, productions and exhibitions in the centre. It will also launch theatre summer schools for young people in July and August and recently won the performing arts award for the railway station project Over by Christmas at the Cheshire Community and Voluntary Arts Awards.
Matt said: “We are exceptionally proud of all we have achieved over the past ten years. We have engaged thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds from Chester and across the whole county in exciting and original projects which have brought professional actors and artists together with community performers in a unique fusion. More impressive is our total audience figure which far exceeds 150,000 people.”
Chairman of Theatre in the Quarter Brian Pearson added: “We have so much to look forward to. Chester Performs will be opening the new cultural centre next year and we are looking forward to playing a significant role in enriching the cultural offer for the whole borough alongside them and all the other organisations in the area. We are aiming for St Mary’s to become a thriving cultural hub alongside the new theatre, and we will continue to create new work in a wealth of spaces both in and out of these main venues.
“Our first ever production in 2005 was Some Sunny Day which involved a cast of teenagers, several of whom have gone on to be very successful professional actors, directors and choreographers, including Tom Hughes, Joe Mann and Matt Quinn. Ten years on and we are receiving 4 and even 4.5 star reviews in the national press for our work.”
Tom Hughes is currently starring in the BBC2 spy drama The Game.
Theatre in the Quarter will also launch a Friends of TIQ this year to give people opportunity to become supporters of the work and to be more involved in its activities.
Matt said: “This is an exciting time for Chester, and Theatre in the Quarter is offering people opportunity to be involved in a cultural renaissance in the city, by joining our youth groups, our new chorus or becoming a ‘friend’. We hope many people will want to join us.”
For more information on the Theatre in the Quarter Chorus email email@example.com.