STUDENTS and University of Chester staff have pledged their support to the Chronicle’s campaign to help bring the Rose Theatre to the area.
The British Shakespeare Company is aiming to bring a replica of the theatre to the north of England.
The replica was donated to the BSC by Dame Judi Dench after appearing in the film Shakespeare in Love.
The closure of the Gateway Theatre and the Odeon cinema has been a real blow to the city, so a potential theatre would be welcomed in the community.
At the moment English and drama students have to travel to see live performances in Liverpool and Manchester.
Steven Diaz, third year drama student and director of the Chester University Actors Society, said: "With the Rose we could go to see live shows and even perform our own productions.
"It would help showcase what talent is growing behind Chester’s walls and would not only benefit us as actors, but would benefit everyone as a form of entertainment."
Shakespeare workshops come to the city throughout the year and Bristol-based Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory is hoping to come to the university in December.
Dr Emma Rees, deputy head of the English department, thinks having a theatre would give the students an ‘amazing’ experience of the workshop as they would be in a great space with plenty of atmosphere.
It would attract even more visitors as Chester is very well situated, close to the Welsh border, and this would help the local economy and businesses grow.
She said: "A theatre would put Chester on the map as an educational, artistic and heritage centre to rival any other British city.
"It could be a year-long educational and exhibit space so there are many possibilities.
"This is a unique and important opportunity for the city – for its citizens, the university and the students."
Although the city has a rich history dating back to Roman times, university staff members believe visitors are confused at the lack of culture when arriving in Chester.
Alan Wall, professor of writing, claims people will be shocked by the first impressions of the city.
He said: "It is not very inspiring for tourists who come expecting to experience culture.
"The university supports the bid to bring the Rose to the city as the drama and English students would be helped with their studies.
"It could only do positive things for Chester."
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