CHESTER’S claim to being the UK’s most haunted city was put to the test last week.
And what a test it was as three witches were rolled down St Mary’s Hill in three barrels to see if they would survive.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the process as this was all part of Jigsaw Music Theatre Company’s production of Ghosts of the City at St Mary’s Centre.
Set in 2020, the novelty of Chester as a city of ghosts has reached boiling point as the spirits are troubled that they are scaring people away in their droves.
Four children are chosen, paranormally, to go on a ghost tour of the city and help unlock the secrets of these ghosts’ colourful past.
The audience is then taken on a ghoulish trip back through history, to ancient Roman Deva, the Battle of Rowton Moor and the Victorian city centre.
We hear the sad tale of Decurion Avitus, who was betrayed by his Celtic love Eilidh and still wanders the city’s Newgate.
We share the distress of the Blue Bell’s wench Henrietta, who still looks out of a Northgate Street window in search of her missing soldier.
And we were reminded of the trials of staff at Thornton’s chocolate shop, on Eastgate, when the jilted Sarah vents her anger on a Valentine’s Day display.
Finally, we are invited to promenade outside to witness the trial of Chester’s own three witches Ellen Beach, Anne Osboston and Anne Thornton, who, despite pleading innocence, were all hanged on Gallows Hill in Boughton in 1656.
The company of more than 30 young people, aged seven to 16, devised the piece with original songs, script and choreography and performed with an unworldly energy.
Ghosts of the City was directed by Erin Elston, Millie Stevenson, Will Wood and former Jigsaw member James Ralph, with music by Matt Baker and Erin Elston.
Members of Jigsaw will take part in the Chester Mystery Plays this summer. For more information contact Julie Elston on 07747110933.