Moonlight Flicks -Willy Wonka & the Choclate Factory (U) #chesterculture

U | Dir: Mel Stuart | 1971 | 100 mins | USA |
Cast: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Despite being disowned by Dahl, this 1971 musical film adaption of Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory remains as one of the most popular versions of any of his books committed to celluloid.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory tells the story of Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) as he receives a Golden Ticket and visits Willy Wonka’s (Gene Wilder) chocolate factory with four other children from around the world.

Roald Dahl on Film – Film Hub Wales and Chapter as Film Hub Lead Organisation, have put together a major, UK-wide programme designed to celebrate the most magnificent Welsh storyteller, Roald Dahl.  The programme will see an extraordinary array of film screenings and supporting activity delivered across the UK from the release of The BFG in July 2016, through to the centenary of his birth on the 13 September.

2016 is the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth. Storyhouse join the celebrations with a series of films based on and inspired by his writing: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate FactoryMatilda and Gremlins

Roman Gardens, Chester
Tuesday 26th July at 20.30 and Wednesday 10th August at 20.00
Castle Park, Frodsham
Sunday 24th July at 20.00
Ashton Park, West Kirby
Thursday 4th August at 20.15
The Measure: cinema ticket


Moonlight Flicks – Inside Out (U) #chesterculture

U | Dir: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen | 2015 | 102 mins | USA |
Cast: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith

When Riley is uprooted from her Midwestern life because her dad has a new job in San Francisco she and her emotions – Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness and Disgust – have a bumpy ride as she has to adapt to her new surroundings.

The brilliant as ever Pixar studio brings to life the workings of a young person’s brain in this funny, sad, revealing, imaginative, and spectacular animation. One for all the family to enjoy.

Roman Gardens, Chester
Thursday 4th August at 20.15, Sunday 20th August at 19.45 and Tuesday 23rd August at 19.30
Castle Park, Frodsham
Friday 29th July at 20.30
Ashton Park, West Kirby
Sunday 14th August at 20.00
The Measure: cinema ticket

Moonlight Flicks – Thelma & Louise (15) #chesterculture

15 | Dir: Ridley Scott | 1991| 131 mins | USA |
Cast: Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon, Brad Pitt, Harvey Keitel

An iconic and seminal road movie with one of the most memorable female friendships on screen (and off).

Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) have grown tired of their mundane jobs, emotionally void boyfriends/husbands and the constraints of their small town and decide to take hold of the wheel of their own lives!

Roman Gardens, Chester
Wednesday 27th July at 20.30 and Tuesday 2nd August at 20.15
The Measure: cinema ticket


Moonlight Flicks -Jurassic World (12)

12 | Dir: Colin Trevorrow | 2015 | 124 mins | USA|
Cast: Chris Platt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins

This blockbuster action moive starring Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreations, Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Lego Movie) is set 22 years after the events in the original 1993 classic, Jurassic Park.

Jurassic World takes place on the same fictional island of Isla Nublar, off the Pacific coast of Central America , where a theme park populated with cloned dinosaurs has operated for ten years. The park plunges into chaos when a genetically created dinosaur breaks loose and goes on a rampage across the island.

Fingers crossed for no such problems with the dinosaurs coming to Chester this summer

Roman Gardens, Chester
Friday 29th July – 20.30, Saturday 13th August – 20.00, Thursday 18th August – 19.45, Friday 26th August – 19.30
Castle Park, Frodsham
Tuesday 26th July – 20.30
Ashton Park, West Kirby
Saturday 6th August – 20.15
The Measure: cinema ticket

Moonlight Flicks – The Philadelphia Story (U) #chesterculture

U | Dir: George Cukor | 1940 | 110 mins | USA |
Cast: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart

One of the best loved romantic comedy films of all time. Katharine Hepburn shines in the role of Tracy Lord, spoilt society girl, whose ‘wedding of the year’ is thrown off the rails when her ex-husband, CK Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) shows up with a pair of tabloid journalists looking for a scoop.

The Philadelphia Story is the quintessential high society comedy with sparkling dialogue and perfect performances.

Roman Gardens, Chester
Thursday 7th July – 20.45, Tuesday 12th July – 20.45, Wednesday 20th July – 20.45, Wednesday 27th July – 20.30, Friday 12th August – 20.00
Castle Park, Frodsham
Wednesday 27th July – 20.30
Ashton Park, West Kirby
Thursday 11th August – 20.00
The Measure: cinema ticket

Moonlight Flicks – Birdman (15) #chesterculture

15 | Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu | 2014 | 116 mins | USA |
Cast: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

The cult hit of 2015. Michael Keaton plays film star Riggan Thompson who is desperate to resurrect his career and reputation as a serious actor by staging a play. However, the popularity of his former role as a comic book super hero Birdman proves a little more difficult to put behind him than he had hoped.

Featuring great performances from its ensemble cast, Birdman won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director at the 2015 Academy Awards, as well as Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography for its dizzying ‘single-shot’ filming.

Roman Gardens, Chester
Wednesday 6th July – 20.45, Saturday 16th July – 20.45, Thursday 21st July – 20.30, Friday 5th August – 20.15,
Castle Park, Frodsham
Friday 22nd July – 20.30
The Measure: cinema ticket

Warning: Dinosaurs are roaming the streets in Chester! #chesterculture

‘You won’t see a tyrannosaur, on the way to the shops. Pretty much all of them have gone the way of Top of the Pops…’

Actually, Biscuithead and The Biscuit Badgers, you’re wrong as dinosaurs are roaring their way into Chester city centre in the shape of two free citywide trails designed to give high street visitors a taste of the Jurassic age, in celebration of Chester Zoo’s popular dinosaur exhibition this summer.

Pre-historic dinosaur fossils and cave finds – many of which were found in the Cheshire region – have been put on display in ten businesses across the city centre as part of a new ‘Dino Chester Trail’. City visitors can pick up a free map to find the fossils, which include a 350 million year old dinosaur footprint, dinosaur bones, shark teeth and a full-size replica Tyrannosaurus Rex skull.

A second ‘Dino Chester Jurassic Facts’ trail launches this Friday (1st July) and will see a range of historic dinosaur facts hidden in a further 40 high street businesses. The trek challenges families to uncover the facts and find the names of ten dinosaurs hiding in the city for the chance to win an annual family pass to Chester Zoo.

To add to the excitement, a life-like Tyrannosaurus Rex from Chester Zoo’s herd of dinosaurs will be making special appearances in the city centre at weekends and Thursday evenings throughout the summer, giving locals and visitors the chance to experience what life was really like when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

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“Having dinosaurs in the city centre is a fantastic addition to our Chester Fiesta events programme this summer and we’re sure it will appeal to people of all ages,” said Julie Charlton, Marketing Manager at CH1ChesterBID, which has partnered with Big Heritage, Chester Zoo and The Grosvenor Museum to deliver this year’s dinosaur-themed trails. “It’s fantastic to have so many of our city centre businesses involved and we believe this campaign will attract thousands of people to our high street, encouraging them to explore new areas of the city and shops they may not have been in before. There are already so many great reasons to visit Chester city centre but with these new dinosaur expeditions, we think this summer will be spectacular!”

City centre locations including Corks Out, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, Cotswolds Outdoor and Lakeland all feature on the Dino Chester Trail and the ten fossils have already been put on display within selected stores.

Blackhouse Grill, Deva Travel, Ed’s Easy Diner, Ginger Wine Bar and Deli and Sofa Works are some of the 40 businesses taking part in the ‘Dino Chester Jurassic Facts’ trail, which launches this Friday.

Dean Paton, Managing Director at Chester-based social enterprise Big Heritage, said: “We’ve turned the clock back by more than 400 million years with this new citywide trail and are bringing something that’s fun, exciting and educational to Chester’s high street. The fact that many of the fossils have come from across Cheshire and the Wirral is a huge bonus and it’s fantastic to see them on show for everyone to see in the city centre.”

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Charlotte Smith, head of discovery and learning at Chester Zoo added: “Young or old, people are fascinated by dinosaurs so we’re thrilled to be helping to bring dinosaurs in to Chester city centre with this new citywide trail. The dinosaurs at Chester Zoo have been hugely popular and putting a dinosaur-theme somewhere as historic and iconic as Chester city centre will be a fantastic attraction.”

Both dinosaur trails will be available every day until Sunday 4th September 2016. To find the dinosaurs, city centre visitors need to pick up a free trail map from Chester’s Visitor Information Centre, the Grosvenor Museum, at participating retailers or can download one directly from

Billy Elliot: The Musical – Monday 11th to Saturday 16th July 2016 – Christleton High School #chesterculture

Following the closing of Billy Elliot the Musical in London’s West End earlier this year, after 11 years and nearly 5000 performances, the show has now started a national tour and, at the same time, been released for schools to perform.

Christleton High School in Chester is one of the first schools in the country to be granted a license and they are now in final rehearsals for their production of the smash hit musical about a boy from the northeast of England, living through the miner’s strike of 1984, who finds he has a natural talent for ballet.

The heart-warming story and memorable music, set against the backdrop of political and social turmoil in Thatcher-era Britain make for a show which quite rightly deserves its reputation as one of the most successful musicals in West End history.

img_1008Year 7 student Ben Rackham, from Barrow, landed the dream role of Billy following hard fought auditions back in February and has been working hard to master the lengthy and complex choreography required for the show, as well as learning a lot of lines and songs.

The show’s Director, Simon Phillips, said “Ben is a star; he is so modest and takes everything in his stride. As one of the youngest boys in year 7 he will still be just 11 years old when he plays the part next month and the weight of the whole show rests on him in many ways. But, he is a very confident and talented performer and will really wow the audiences, I’m sure.”

In addition to Ben, some 70 students appear in the cast of the show and a further dozen or more will be working behind the scenes alongside the professional 9-piece band and theatre experts who help to create the technical elements of the show.

Mr Phillips said “We try, each year, to raise the bar in terms of what we are able to do with our productions and this year is no different. The company of nearly 100 students, staff and theatre professionals are so enthusiastic about this show and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to produce it.”

The school, following successes in recent years with We Will Rock You, Joseph, Oliver!, The Lion King and Our House, is developing a reputation for producing annual musical theatre shows which aim for high standards in terms of both artistic and technical achievement. With music written by Elton John and  the script and lyrics by Lee Hall, who wrote the screenplay for the film this is going to be one not to miss.

Monday 11th to Saturday 16th July 2016
Christleton High School
Tickets £8 available by clicking the link below.



Under The Blue Sky – Chester Little Theatre – Saturday 2nd to Saturday 9th July 2016 – #chesterculture

Chester Theatre Club are proud to present their summer play ‘Under the Blue Sky’ directed by Andy Hutchings which opens on Saturday 2nd July 2016.

Under the Blue Sky is a roller-coaster of a play that looks at the full spectrum of love. In three subtly-linked acts, the play tells the stories of six teachers and the mess of obsessions, jealousies, indifference and affections that lie between them as they discuss love and lust with boldness and honesty, as the playwright studies unrequited affection, obsession, sex, and even being happy. It was first performed in 2000 at London’s Royal Court Theatre.


Nick and Helen (Jess Toyne and Ally Goodman pictured left) have been friends for three years since they slept together once, but they’ve got very different feelings about Nick taking a new job at a public school.

In the next act, a drunken Michelle (Leah Bell, pictured right) is very determined to sleep with her faithful confidant, the virginal history teacher Graham, but the recital of her various liaisons leads to a sinister reversal of the seduction.

Finally, two older teachers, Robert and Anne, who have spent the school holidays together for many years, look up at the sky and begin to hope they could be happy.

Joining the cast is newcomer to Chester Theatre Club, Ally Goodman, an Events & Arts Co-Ordinator by day. Ally is well known in Llangollen, his home town, where last year he played Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers and more recently at Grove Park Theatre Wrexham where he was seen in their very successfully production of The Ladykillers.

Please note: This is a very frank, open play which contains some scenes of an adult sexual nature. Recommended audience age is fifteen and above.

Under The Blue Sky
Chester Little Theatre
Saturday 2nd to Saturday 9th July 2016
Tickets £9.00
Concession price of £7.50 for seniors, students and unemployed on first Saturday, Monday and Tuesday evenings only.
Admin charges apply to online and telephone bookings
Book by calling TicketSource: 0333 666 3366 or click here to book online.


Storyhouse presents Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre 2016 Season – Friday 1st July to Sunday 21st August 2016 #chesterculture

img_0618Produced by Storyhouse, the 2016 season will see productions of Shakespeare’s As You Like It and The Two Gentlemen of Verona and a new adaptation of the children’s classic Stig of the Dump staged at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer.

Opening on Friday 1st July and running until Sunday 21st August the 2016 season is the biggest to date, with 59 performances in the season’s schedule.

Alex Clifton, Artistic Director, Storyhouse, who is producing the season said: “We are thrilled to be announcing our 7th season of Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, at the heart of a monumental year for Chester’s cultural scene. Our 2016 season presents two very different Shakespeare comedies – an anarchic farce and a magical romance – which we can’t wait to share with our summer audiences.

We are really proud to be bringing our 7th new play to Grosvenor Park, this year a reworking of the children’s classic Stig of the Dump by Olivier winner Jessica Swale. Above all we look forward to welcoming back our spontaneous and joyful audiences to our glorious open air festival.”

One of the century’s best-selling and enduring children’s classics, Stig of the Dump by Clive King, will be brought to the open air theatre by the same team as sell out hits Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden. The Bard’s incredibly popular pastoral comedy ‘As You Like It’ is the season’s headline Shakespeare, performed in rep with the ‘ridiculous’ ‘The Two Gentleman of Verona’.

In 2015 the award winning season of open air theatre welcomed over 25,000 theatregoers to its nine week season and it won Event of the Year in the region’s tourism awards, beating off competition from Chester Zoo and Just So Festival.

Storyhouse are expecting this year’s season to be more popular than ever. Tickets are on sale now.

Grosvenor Open Air Theatre
Friday 1st July to Sunday 21st August 2016
Performance times vary