CHESTER’s Garden Lane area, situated close to the University, is proud of its community spirit, atmosphere and character.
So proud, in fact, that they are performing a musical in its honour.
Garden Lane – The Musical is the fourth production by community drama group Theatre in the Quarter.
The group have been filling Chester’s historic rows with the sound of music and singing as they rehearse in a vacant shop on Watergate Row South.
The show is written by Rob Edmonds and features music by artistic director Matt Baker, the man behind Chester’s A Handbag of Harmonies and a resident of Cambrian View.
Matt said: “This is an exciting opportunity to see a cast of talented young actors and musicians perform an original piece of musical comedy theatre inspired by the increasingly diverse lives of the people of Garden Lane, one of Chester’s most cherished neighbourhoods.”
The production sees a decline in family homes and quiet streets and an increase in multi- occupied households.Š
It depicts an area under threat from many forces, not least the impact of a growing university population and associated need for accommodation.Š
The future of the lane – and the community in general – depends on the outcome of a five-a-side football match cobbled together from the most unlikely players.
Writer Rob Edmunds, a drama teacher who lives in Raymond Street, said: “We have a lot of larger-than-life characters in the play, as we do in real life.
“It has been strange to see people breathe life into characters I created, there is something a bit weird about it... but it has been a really good experience.”
Garden Lane – The Musical examines the eclectic mix of people from many walks of life that live, work, find their voice and celebrate together on this humble street.
As well as receiving Arts Council England (ACE) funding, Theatre in the Quarter has developed key partnerships with Chester Performs and Chester Racecourse for the production.
The production is being performed at The Pavilion, Chester Racecourse from Wednesday – Saturday (September 3-6) at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.
Tickets cost £12 (£10 concessions), Saturday Matinee all tickets £8 from Chester Tourist Information Centre or by calling 01244 402111.