Children’s choirs, brass bands, international folk and classical music, live theatre, cinema and festive sing-alongs are lined up in a bumper array of events to mark a special Christmas build up at a city centre venue. For the third year running, the beautiful St Mary’s Creative Space will be opening its doors to an array of concerts and performances to suit all the family from the end of November through to Christmas this year. Described as ‘capturing the true spirit of Christmas in the city’s most enchanted venue’ programmers Theatre in the Quarter will be welcoming a line-up of events which will include some of the best city choirs and school children, Jigsaw and Rewind theatre companies, Chester Operatic Society.
The festival will open on Wednesday 22 November with two special craft fair evenings which will combine the talents of many of Cheshire’s artists and traders with the city’s top choir A Handbag of Harmonies. Several other top choirs will feature throughout December including Caldy Valley Singers, University of Chester Choir and Dragonsong young people’s choir from North Wales. There will also be a unique visit from Journeyman Theatre who will present an enlightening piece of theatre hosted by Chester’s Amnesty International group.
There will be an eclectic offer of international music being offered throughout December including top singer/songwriter Steve Pilgrim, British folk duo O'Hooley & Tidow and city’s favourite Handbell Ringers. This year the venue will welcome world renowned early music ensemble Passacaglia, hosted by Chester Music Society. St Mary’s will be full to the brim with children’s choirs as the venue hosts a series of chldren’s choir events entitled ‘Angel Voices’
Theatre productions will abound throughout December including the talents of Chester Operatc Society offering a jam-packed evening of festive favourites entitled ‘Its Beginning to Look Like Christmas’. Rewind and Jigsaw young people’s theatre groups will return after last year’s sell out success with their magical double bill ‘Christmas Child’ which will feature musical theatre of the highest quality created and performed by the city’s young people. A new must-see highlight this year will be ‘Patchwork Nativity’ which is a brand new theatre play created and performed by young adults with additional needs.
City impresario Matt Baker will be offering a selection of Christmas singalong nights including his very own sell-out madcap ‘Christmas Cracker’, and this year he will be hosting a magical carol evening featuring highly acclaimed Chester City Band. There will also be a festive double-bill cinema night hosted by Chester Film Society which includes My Life As A Courgette & The Eagle Huntress.
Festival team member Erin Elston said, “You can guarantee that people will gasp as they walk into this magical venue whether they are here to enjoy the best in the UK’s folk or classical music, or whether they are here to watch spectacular and innovative theare. And we can assure people they will be brimming with Christmas cheer when they leave.”
Artistic Director of Theatre in the Quarter says, “In the past few days alone this extraordinary venue has hosted the best in world cabaret, opened the door to hundreds of children attending Wizard School and it has seen the launch of the city’s first LGBT chorus. This place is astonishing in the diversity of the performers and audiences it attracts, and Christmas will certainly will be no exception.’ He added, “I defy anyone to not leave this place with a huge smile on their faces and a warm heart. We hope many people will come and experience the magic that is St Mary’s; the perfect little sister to Storyhouse and other venues in our terrific city this Christmas.”
A full line up of events
The Sparkling Christmas Markets
Astonishing array of delightful crafts and city’s favourite choir ‘ A Handbag of Harmonies’
Wednesday 22 / Thursday 23 November at 7.30pm £8.50
Journeyman Theatre present an enlightening piece of theatre hosted by Chester’s Amnesty International group
Friday 24 November at 7.30pm
The return of the sell-out festive treat of school choirs from across the city
Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 November and Monday 4 December at 7.30pm
Wednesday 6 December at 1pm
Christmas Singers and Ringers
Chester Music Society presents Bishops’ Handbell Ringers and the wonderful Caldy Valley Singers in a special Christmas Evening
Wednesday 29 November at 7.30pm £5 at the door
SoundBox presents top British folk duo O'Hooley & Tidow in a
sparkling winter cup, brimming with original, contemporary and traditional notes!
Friday 1 December at 7.30pm £12
Roman Candle Productions once again bring one of the best international singer/songwriters to the city. www.romancandlepromotions.co.uk
Saturday 2 December at 7.30pm £8
Christmas Double Bill Film Night
Chester Film Society brings you two stunning films, screened in the wonderful surroundings of St Mary’s
Double Bill – My Life As A Courgette & The Eagle Huntress - Tuesday 5 December at 7.30pm (and drinks reception at 7.00pm) £5 on the door
Joy To The World
An evening of delightful festive singing from University of Chester Choir and A Handbag of Harmonies
Wednesday 6 December at 7.30pm £10
It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas
The most delightful concert of Christmas classics brought to you by the hugely talented Chester Operatic Society.
Thursday 7, Friday 8 and Saturday 9 December at 7.30pm. £10 (including mince pie)
The Patchwork Nativity
A quirky adaptation of the Twelve Days of Christmas as seen and created by young people with additional needs.
A collaboration with Live!, Art in the Place and Theatre in the Quarter.
Monday 11 December at 7.30pm
Tuesday 12 December at 1pm £7 / £5 (under 5s go free)
Christmas Baroque Evening
Chester Music Society presents world renowned early music ensemble Passacaglia.
13 December at 7.30pm £18 (including buffet)
Matt Baker’s Christmas Cracker
The return of Matt Baker’s infamous festive singalong
Friday 15 and Saturday 16 December at 7.30pm £10 (including nibbles!)
A double bill of original, magical and musical storytelling by two of the city’s favourite young theatre companies (Jigsaw and Rewind)
Sunday 17 and Monday 18 December at 7.30pm £8/£6
The Perfect Christmas Night
Matt Baker and City of Chester Band bring you a delightful evening of carols, solos and readings. Come along and sing your favourite carols.
Wednesday 20 December at 7.30pm £10 (including refreshments)
All tickets (unless stated) from here or by calling 07854 550549