OVER BY CHRISTMAS (touring September 2014)
SILENT NIGHT (touring October – December 2014)
ALICE (St Mary’s Centre, Chester December 2014 – January 2015)
This autumn Theatre in the Quarter will present three original productions, marking the centenary of the First World War with Over by Christmas and Silent Night; followed by Alice, a new play based on Lewis Carroll’s classic tales Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
The season opens with Over by Christmas, an ambitious site-specific project taking place in railway stations across Cheshire, which captures the spirit of optimism and patriotism of soldiers leaving for the front in autumn 1914. A community choir of ‘soldiers’, ‘nurses’ and their loved ones will recreate the departure through well-loved songs of the period, accompanied by live musicians. Written by Helen Newall, with musical arrangements by Matt Baker, Over by Christmas tours throughout September. The production is supported by Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East Councils, Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership, Chester Business Club, Jane Lewis Health and Social Care, Merseyrail, Virgin Trains, Arriva Trains Wales and Northern Rail.
At once moving and entertaining, Silent Night tells the incredible story of the Christmas Eve truce of 1914, through the experiences of a group of Cheshire soldiers and the families they left behind. Along miles of trenches, wet and freezing men face each other in stalemate. Then, over the temporary halt in gunfire, voices from both sides of No Man’s Land begin to talk, sing and break the silent night… Against a backdrop of archive images, original music and popular songs from the era, Silent Night vividly portrays events surrounding the historic moment when the guns stopped. Part of the Imperial War Museum’s First World War Centenary project, Silent Night is written by Helen Newall, with original music by Matt Baker. The production tours to venues in Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Yorkshire from October to December.
At Christmas, Theatre in the Quarter will present Alice, written by Stephanie Dale and inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Featuring music by Matt Baker and directed by Peter Leslie Wild, this newly-commissioned work is produced by the team behind the highly acclaimed Chester Mystery Plays (2013). Following the success of its sell-out shows The Snow Queen and A Christmas Carol, Theatre in the Quarter will return to St Mary’s Centre, Chester for the Christmas season.
Established in 2005, Theatre in the Quarter works with professional actors, experienced creative teams and members of the local community to make high quality, original music theatre. Often performed in new, non-theatrical spaces, its work is inspired by the lives and experiences of the people of Chester and surrounding areas. During 2014, over 700 people of all ages will participate in Theatre in the Quarter’s projects through these three productions and the company’s two thriving youth theatres.
More information, including regular updates about tour schedules, on sale dates and booking details, can be found at www.theatreinthequarter.co.uk.