New stage school launches in Chester today! (9th September 2016) #chesterculture


The Diaz Academy of Performing Arts (DAPA) launched today for pupils aged 8 to 16 years every Friday during term time between 4.30pm and 6.30pm. Parents can book their first sessions at 50% off the full price!

Based at the Chester Music Theatre premises on Tarvin Road, Boughton, the academy is an exciting fusion of drama, dance and music workshops eventually leading to showcases and productions. There’s also the chance to earn some LAMDA qualifications!

DAPA is designed to encourage an enjoyment of theatre, drama and performing arts, as well as helping pupils develop confidence, teamwork and communication skills. Mr Steven Diaz, Proprietor and Artistic Director, has several years of experience in the industry and has worked with professionals in London, Cheshire and Cambridgeshire.

Steven Diaz – Proprietor of DAPA

Steven comments, “We are the right place for you if you are interested in developing your skills as a performer, whether your passion lies in Drama, Dance or Music; or a mixture of all three! However, we give our pupils much more than just the opportunity to develop their singing, dancing and acting skills. We pride ourselves in the ability to help pupils blossom into mature individuals, ready to embrace all aspects of life with confidence, bravery and resilience.”

Come along to DAPA today or visit for more information. You can also like them on Facebook too!

Fiesta Fever comes to Chester courtesy of CH1BiD – #chesterculture

Fiesta fever is taking over Chester, as CH1ChesterBID and a range of city centre partners gear up to launch a packed programme of campaigns and events for summer in the city. 

‘Chester Fiesta’, CH1ChesterBID’s campaign for summer 2016, includes a three-month programme of activities in the city centre throughout June, July and August. The city’s streets will be full of music, movies, outdoor theatre, parades and sporting events this summer and will include a city centre-wide cocktail competition and a dinosaur-inspired family trail and fact-finding mission.

“Chester Fiesta brings all of the city’s spectacular summer activities together under one banner” added Julie Charlton, Marketing Manager at CH1ChesterBID. “It’s going to be a fantastic summer in the city this year!”

Starting in July and running through to September as part of Chester Fiesta, CH1ChesterBID will launch ‘Head Out, Not Home’, a campaign aimed at bridging the gap between the city’s daytime and evening economies. 

Every Thursday between 5pm and 8pm, CH1ChesterBID has organised a range of music and street entertainment as well as a series of fantastic shopping, drinking and dining offers, to encourage more people to enjoy the city’s summer evening delights. 

More than 40 stores in the city – including Primark, Next, Marks and Spencer, Boots, Debenhams as well as many inside the city’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre – are backing the campaign and will stay open for business from 5pm to 8pm every Thursday evening.

“We’re delighted with the support ‘Head Out, Not Home’ has received from many of our city centre retailers, but the campaign isn’t just about late night shopping”, said Carl Critchlow, CH1ChesterBID Manager. “We’re planning some fantastic evenings of entertainment including live music, comedy, culture, cinema, theatre and sport in the city.”

The campaign is aimed at encouraging more city residents, workers and visitors to stay longer, enjoy more and spend more time around Chester’s city centre shops, bars, restaurants and attractions. Parking is also free after 3pm in the city.

“We’re proud to be a city that’s rich in tradition, but we also need to react and respond to shifting demands of modern consumers and to the competitive challenges we face as a destination of choice. So, we hope people – whether living, working or visiting here – head out to Chester, not home, every Thursday in July and August, and enjoy everything our wonderful city has to offer.” Carl added.

Everything locals and visitors need to know about Chester Fiesta and Head Out, Not Home will be available on CH1ChesterBID’s new digital consumer hub, which launched yesterday – Thursday 16th June –

As well as receiving all the latest news and offers from the city centre, anyone who signs up to the newsletter before the end of June will automatically be entered into a prize draw for afternoon tea for two at the Chester Grosvenor. Full terms and conditions are available on the website.

Park Sounds – Saturday 18th June 2016 – To include memorial to Orlando Victims #chesterculture

This Saturday, Chester Pride will be hosting ‘Park Sounds’ a free evening of live music which will take place in Grosvenor Park (by the activity hut) starting at 7pm.

Park Sounds will include a remembrance to the victims of the Orlando shootings including a reading, a minutes silence, and the opportunity to paint a pebble with inspirational words, a message, or a picture and place it under a tribute tree.  

Chair of Chester Pride Helen Pickin-Jones said ‘What happened in Orlando is truly horrifying; I have no words to begin to express how heartbreaking it is. But this week in Chester, we have seen people showing their solidarity, love and support for the LGBT community in a number of ways- this is inspiring and uplifting to see.’

Park Sounds will include a Tai Chi experience at 7:15pm from Kam Lau School of Tai Chi Chuan, words of remembrance at 8pm, a performance from quirky singer/song writer Jess Ball at 8:30pm followed by acclaimed blood-harmony 60s/70s folk rock inspired band Heal the Last Stand at 9:15pm.

#chesterculture – A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That – Friday 1st July to Sunday 3rd July 2016

Ever wondered about the true scope of what they do at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden?

Join them for ‘A little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That’, a weekend long event held from Friday 1st July to Sunday 3rd July 2016.

During this weekend you’ll experience a typical slice of discussion at Gladstone’s Library.

A wonderful compendium of thoughts starting with bestselling novelist Salley Vickers whose works include the international word-of-mouth bestseller Miss Garnet’s Angel which became a favourite among book clubs and reading groups.

Salley will introduce and read from her eagerly-anticipated new novel,Cousins, which follows three generations of the Tye family as they are forced to come to terms with the true nature of inheritance – both genetic and behavioural.

John McEllhenney and Susan Fogarty explore the doubting-belief of the great Welsh poet R.S. Thomas, an Anglican vicar who wrestled ceaselessly with problems of faith and doubt in his poetry.

It is not too much of a leap from R.S. Thomas to Peter Francis’ talk about Honest Faith – claiming that no supernatural beliefs are true and presenting Christianity as a rational philosophy of life.

william_ewart_gladstone_-_project_gutenberg_etext_13103There is a significant Victorian slant to the weekend as well with Chair of Gladstone’s Library Michael Wheeler presenting Florence Nightingale as a great reformer, the founder of modern nursing and a noted liberal Christian.

Louisa Yates talks reading, journeying through Gladstone’s Literary Life by imagining his typical week. She addresses how such a busy man could possibly have read the 22,000 books he noted in his diaries.

The weekend concludes with a discussion about ‘liberal values’ in which Michael Wheeler and Peter Francis ask whether the word ‘liberal’ still has any meaning in the contemporary world.

Residential prices start from £202, non-residential from £150. Discount rates for clergy and students apply.

For further information visit , call 01244 532350 or email

#chesterculture – Fiddle D Dee – The Bridge Inn – Thursday 12th May 2016

So, what is Fiddle D Dee?


Fiddle D Dee are a group of like-minded fiddle (violin in new money) players who meet once a month to teach each other a new tune.  Mandolin fiddles,  recorder fiddles, guitar fiddles, bass fiddles – all things vaguely folk …

It’s as simple as that really; Fiddle D Dee are a mixed ability from beginners (“Which way up do I hold it?”) to pretty accomplished.  But above all, what they all are is friendly.  It’s a great way to start or enjoy or return to playing with others.

Mostly what is played is folk – but if you something you want to bring to the group that’s not folk – that’s fine too.  They love a good tune to learn!

Mostly they teach and learn by ear – though usually whoever’s leading the workshop will relent and give out printed stuff at some point.

There’s easy parking near their current venue of The Bridge Inn – ask and they’ll share details! Fiddle D Dee are nursing a hope to get some pieces ready to take out to some of the local folk sessions – come and join in! The more the merrier!

Fiddle D Dee welcome violin/fiddle players but also recorders, guitars, whistles, mandolins – pretty much anything really… They’d love to see you at their next meeting.

Fiddle D Dee
Thursday 12th May 2016– 8pm
The Bridge Inn, Boughton, Chester. 

Email for more information or find Fiddle D Dee on Facebook

#chesterculture – DemFest – Gladstone’s Library – Friday 13th May and Saturday 14th May 2016.

A brand new festival will be making its debut in Hawarden next month.

The Democracy Festival will be held at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden on Friday 13th May and Saturday 14th May 2016.

DemFest, run in partnership with The Raymond Williams Foundation and The Democratic Society, is a space to meet people, develop fairer and more participatory forms of politics, and enjoy a range of democracy-related cultural events. demfest

At DemFest you will have a chance to think, get-together and talk with others with similar interests or projects. You won’t just hear a party line, DemFest is non-partisan and independent.

Why now? We are living in tumultuous times. The UK may be on the brink of fracturing and leaving the European Union, power and resources are increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands and the gulf between the UK’s main political parties is rapidly widening.

Meanwhile, myriad possibilities for new forms of democratization are opening up. Whether through experimentation at community level, developments in online technology or the growing public appetite for more collaborative and less hierarchical ways of living, DemFest is about getting together to explore, celebrate and help re-make democracy for our times.

An affordable festival (prices range from free to £6) aiming to engage and provide a forum for discussion for those of all ages and backgrounds; but you won’t hear a party line; DemFest is non-partisan, independent, and not-for-profit.

Guests include Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party; Peter McFadyen, author of Flatpack Democracy and Robin McApline from Common Weal, a ‘think and do tank’ campaigning for social and economic equality in Scotland.

Confirmed events include Women and Protest, exploring women’s particular history of protest, objection and defiance from Suffrage to SlutWalks; Futures of European Democracy, considering the future of the UK in Europe; State of Emergency: War, Terror and Democracy, defining the responsibilities of ‘democratic’ states in the contexts of migration, asylum and war; and Democratization and the Media, asking what needs to happen to ensure our media is democratic.

There are also a number of free audio and video playback sessions from past events at Gladstone’s Library, including talks from ex-Director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti, crossbench Peer, Lord Peter Hennessey, and the Library’s Founder’s Day discussion, hosted by Lloyd Grossman.

For more information and to book online visit  man-dual

Gladstone’s Library
Friday 13th May and Saturday 14th May.
Tickets are priced between free and £6 with a £2 Concessions rate.
Day Tickets are priced at £45 (including 10 events) or £15 for Concessions.
Alternatively, contact Gladstone’s Library on 01244 532350 or

#chesterculture – Chester Sexual Abuse Support Service welcomed Survivors Knitwork on Saturday 23rd April for a day of Craftivision (craft and activism)

CSASS and Survivor’s Knitwork got together on Saturday 25th May 2016 in at Alexander’s to knit squares for an enormous purple scarf as part of a national campaign to support people who have survived or are surviving sexual violence.

Survivor’s Knitwork is a survivor led UK wide arts project which began in winter 2014-15 and will end with a multi-media installation in January 2017.

It’s centrepiece is a giant scarf of knitted squares, created by sexual abuse survivors and their allies across the UK. The symbolism of the scarf, or comfort, and also the hidden nature of abuse, is inspired by the work of Dr Nina Burrowes, cartoon psychologist.


Fabia Bates, Director of Survivors’ Network described the value of the project: ‘For many survivors the idea of being put in a situation where they have to talk can be enormously pressurised. The opportunity to come together in a supportive atmosphere, doing something practical and creative, can be a crucial first step in their healing journey’.
You can still contribute by sending a purple knitted (or other material) square 20cm x 20cm and it will become part of the scarf which will be exhibited in London and Leeds

To find out more about the project visit The Survivor’s Knitwork website.

Chester Sexual Abuse Support Service offers support, information and free counselling. To make an appointment you can call in confidence during office hours. CSASS are also open on Monday and Wednesday evenings 6-8pm. Call on 0808 284 0484 

CSASS Facebook

CSASS website

#chesterculture – What is Roller Derby and who are the Cheshire Hellcats?

What is Roller Derby?

Despite Roller Derby being the fastest growing female sport in the world a surprisingly few people seem to know what roller derby is all about.

Roller derby is a full-contact women’s sport played on quad skates by players skating around a flat oval track. The game is made up two minute bursts of play called jams.

At the start of each jam, each team sends five players onto the track. Each team consists of one jammer (point scorer), three blockers (defensive/offensive players) and one pivot (a special kind of blocker). The players are identified by their helmet covers – a stripe for the pivots and two stars for the jammers. The pivots and blockers form a pack at the start line and the two jammers line up on or behind the jammer line. The jammers score points by  making it through the pack of skaters, skating a full lap and then re-entering the pack. For for each opposing skater they pass legally the jammer scores a point.

The skaters in the pack do all they can to stop the opposing jammer passing and scoring points, whilst at the same time helping their own jammer to pass opposing players. They do this by shoving opposing players out of the way or knocking them to the ground using heavy shoulder or hip checks. Make an illegal hit and a player has to spend time in the penalty box.

Who are Cheshire Hellcats?

Founded in 2011, Cheshire Hellcats are Chester & Ellesmere Port’s First Female Flat Track Roller Derby League.

Cheshire Hellcats are recruiting for new female skaters aged 18 or over, and being able to skate isn’t necessary – all skills are taught in structured training sessions which currently take place at Stanney Oaks Leisure Centre. They currently train on Tuesdays between 7.30 – 9.30pm  – these are skill sessions which are open to everyone. Team training is on a Sunday between 5 and 7pm. 

Head Coach, Shezz Latham AKA. Luxury Problem said “Roller Derby is an all inclusive sport that is suitable for everyone whatever your shape, size or skill level. We have skaters who have joined us at 18, skaters who have joined us in their 40s, skaters who have done no exercise in years, and skaters who were already experienced in roller derby. Half the fun is learning a new skill and pushing yourself, the other half is playing an exciting sport with a team of women who really support each other.”


Cheshire Hellcats have regular fresh meat (new skater) intakes and are always looking to recruit referees and non-skating officials to join their skating family.

Roller Derby is amazing fun to watch as well as play and we suggest you get yourself down to their next bout as soon as you can!

Cheshire Hellcats
To join email
Find them on Twitter
Oggle them on Instagram

#chesterculture – Tango Traviesa at Missoula

Strictly Come Dancing. The glitter, the glam, the stacatto movements, the head swivelling…

We might all have an idea of what we think Tango is, but real Argentine Tango is not about the sequins – though they can certainly be part of it if wished.

It is about inner connection with another person, walking meditation, playfullness and conversation without words. It’s a complicated dance, but really it’s all about embracing another human being.
It can be terribly serious, and seriously fun.

Tango Traviesa (Naughty Tango) is starting in Chester to offer an inclusive space for people to dance alternative, traditional and Tango Queer.
Tango Queer is the name used for Tango that refuses to play by the rules.
Tango Queer is about exchanging roles. It is gender-blind dancing for everyone who wants to learn the authentic and addictive Argentine Tango.

Traditional tango music, Greek and Turkish 1930’s tango, electro modern tango, James Bond themes…
Expect an eclectic mix from across the eras and around the world, as long as it’s got the right rhythm to tango to.

Give it a try. Tango Traviesa is an inclusive, relaxed, friendly and informal evening. Everyone can learn to dance.

Tango Traviesa
Tuesday Nights in Missoula.
7.30-8.30pm Class for beginners. 8.30-10.30pm Practica dancing
£5 for class (includes entry to Practica)
£3 for Practica only
First class is always free.