Thursday, May 24, 2012


50 years ago, Chester Theatre Club ( ) purchased a Victorian school in the heart of Newtown. This was ( and is) an area of little terraced houses, tiny shops, on the edge of the city.
It was an inspirational idea and now Chester Little Theatre goes from strength to strength, producing 6 plays annually in this wonderful building. And the latest play, Shakespeare's Macbeth, kept the audience spellbound.I am NOT exagerating....

Hilary Egan directed with style. She brought murder, tyranny and passion to the stage, hooking us from the moment we entered the auditorium to find motionless black-robed bodies on the stage.
We thrilled at her use of mime, particularly in a banquet scene, ablaze wuith colour and movement. We felt included in the action as we listened to Vox Pop ( The Voice Of The People) when characters faced the audience, shared their thoughts with us. AND throughout, we the audience were enthralled.
Hilary Egan must be congratulated and much praise must also go to Jane Barth as Producer and the Directing Team of Jenny Shryne and Margery Alexander.

We saw familiar actors along with new ones. Toby Hughes, first time at CTC, triumphed as a young and powerful Macbeth. His performance will long be remembered., Faithful member of CTC, Fiona Wheatcroft, portrayed Lady Macbeth's descent into madness, gripping us all. Will Wood provided delightful comedy as the Porter. John Turner excelled as doomed King Duncan and the doctor, while Malcolm Gledhill fought a riveting sword fight with Macbeth.
And throughout,the silvery masked witches, played by Tony O'Byrne, Rose Eliot and Laura Smith, watched the action like voyeurs, rolled their eyes, curled their fingers, made us shiver with fear.
Fine performances came too from cast members: Chris White, Sam Bramhall, Adam Sabatti, Leen Belmans, Paul Williams, Tony Kemp, Gillian Blatch and Susan Eliot. Also three youngsters : Christopher Graham, his brother Mark, and Rebekah Bentley, taking the roles of Fleance and Macduff's children.
Tony Kemp designed a simple but most effecctive open set and music by Benjamin Britten and Arvo Part enhanced the powerful atmosphere.

THIS was indeed a spectacular production in which CTC in this Anniv ersary production, certainly touched gold!
Next production: "Art" by Yasmina Retza. Preview Saturday June 30th, then running from Monday July 2nd to Saturday July 7th.


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