THE 90th anniversary of the end of the Great War is being celebrated at theatres and village halls across Cheshire.
Silent Night tells the well-known tale of the suspension of hostilities one Christmas when British and German soldiers put down their arms for a game of football during the First World War.
Directed by Russ Tunney from the Nuffield Theatre Southampton, with original and traditional music by Matt Baker, Silent Night is the most ambitious project of Chester’s professional and community theatre group, Theatre in the Quarter.
Russ was head of education and access at the former Chester Gateway Theatre.
The play is written by Helen Newall who has been researching Chester’s connection with the Great War with the Grosvenor Museum, the Cheshire Military Museum and the History & Heritage Centre.
Seven venues for the production in December have so far been confirmed including The Forum Studio Theatre, St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Bishops’ Blue Coat CE High School and Blacon Christmas Festival, all in Chester, and Bickerton, Goostrey and Kelsall village halls.
Matt Baker, who composed the music for the 2008 Chester Mystery Plays, said: “There has been so much excitement about this piece that we have offered more tour dates so that village halls, schools and churches all over Chester can bring the show to their own communities. But most exciting of all is that I am going to work with choirs and singing groups who will add some extra sparkle to the performances in their own venue.”
He added: “It is particularly important for Chester, at a time when the city has no performing arts centre, that people are aware of what is still happening on their doorstep.
“Professional and community groups are producing excellent work in schools, village halls and alternative venues.”
Silent Night has been made possible through a partnership with Chester Performs, Chester City Council and Arts Council England.
If you would like to book this play for your local venue, there are still a few dates available during the first two weeks of December. For more information, contact Amber Knipe at Chester Performs on 01244 409113 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.