An exciting and varied new season of productions and events, promising something for everyone, from panto, comedy and drama to live music and West End style performances, has been unveiled at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester.
The theatre, housed since 2007 within the former Chester Gateway Theatre building and home to local theatre company Tip Top Productions, will once again stage a variety of in-house productions as well as playing host to a number of visiting and touring shows.
Season highlights include Tip Top’s production of Mary O’Malley’s hilariously funny coming of age play Once A Catholic which runs from September 18-27.
Set in a convent school for girls as the swinging Sixties approach, the play centres on the girls as they deal with the discovery of men and lust and the nuns attempts to beat the sin out of them, before they get the chance to discover what sin is!
October sees the premiere of Bothered and Bewildered, a new comedy drama by Chester playwright and Tip Top member Gail Young who wrote the Edinburgh Fringe Festival smash hit Cheshire Cats.
A tale of of life, love, loss and Barbara Cartland, Bothered and Bewildered runs from October 14-18 and tells the story of one woman’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, with proceeds from the play going to support the wellbeing of patients with dementia at both the Countess of Chester Hospital and Ellesmere Port Hospital.
Prior to Bothered and Bewildered, on October 1, the Studio plays host to an eclectic mix of nationalities with Slavery and Snuffnuff’s Emporium of Odds and Sods being presented by visiting company Nuworks Ensemble from Melbourne, Australia, featuring members of the Possible Dreams International choir from Swaziland who are visiting Chester as part of their UK tour.
Fans of the 1960s Merseybeat era and the famous Cavern Club will be in for a treat as Beat Mania starring The Fabs featuring Steve Quillon makes a welcome return to the theatre on November 15.
A pre-Christmas treat for the dark winter nights is on offer with the return of Tip Top’s production of Tim Firth’s Flint Street Nativity which runs from October 30- November 8, followed by Chester’s traditonal family pantomime as Tip Top stages panto legend Peter Swingler’s production of Aladdin from 6th December 6- January 4.
Tip Top brings a taste of the West End to Chester in February with an innovative schools edition of the smash hit musical Les Miserables from February 19-28.
This version, approved by the show’s original producers and featuring all of the songs which made it such a hit, has been specially adapted to feature a talented cast of perfomers up to the age of 19 while maintaining the magic of one of the greatest musicals ever written.
The musical theme continues in March as for one night only, on March 15, tribute band Ga Ga rock the studio theatre with an evening devoted to the music of legendary rock band Queen.
Musical comedy duo Avela Moisey and Jill Neenan present their two-woman show on March 21, featuring comedy songs and observations on the joys and frustrations of being a parent.
Shakespeare as you’ve never seen it done before takes the theatre through April as Tip Top presents The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) and promises all 37 plays (plus sonnets) in just 97 minutes.
This fast-paced show runs from April 16-25.
Tip Top round off their season at The Forum Studio with This is My Musical 2015 from August 6-15. A spectacular musical compilation show, the production will feature songs from some of the latest productions from the West End and Broadway as well as some well loved musicals of yesteryear.
Peter Swingler, the chairman and founder of Tip Top Productions, said of the new season: “When we moved into the building in 2007, we’d never expected that we would still be growing our audience, delivering more productions and welcoming more visiting companies into the space.
“We are delighted to be presenting our seventh season of live theatre right in the heart of Chester city centre.”
For full details of all shows and events go to www.chestertheatre.co.uk or call 01244 341296.