Introducing: Storyhouse Gems ✨

Storyhouse is excited to introduce Storyhouse Gems: a new monthly strand of hand-picked, one-off cinema screenings specially curated by a member of the Storyhouse Cinema Team. The new monthly screening will showcase a cult, classic, or contemporary film favourite rarely seen on the big screen, with a focus on offering unexpected and unique experiences for Chester audiences.

The first four screenings – exploring stories of surprise, disruption, and chance – are now on sale, with tickets priced from only £5 for Young Storyhouse Card Members.


Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (15) Dir. Lou Adler ,1982.

Storyhouse Gems begins Wednesday 26 April with 80s underground punk favourite, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. This feminist fable follows a garage band made up of teenage girls (led by Diane Lane, and featuring a very young Laura Dern) who are flung into the public eye when they manage to land a spot on a tour with a rival all-male group ‘The Looters’ (featuring real-life members of The Clash and Sex Pistols).  Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains grew a cult following through repeated play on late night TV in the late 80s and 90s, a pre-Riot Grrrl movement film that has been cited as an influence to many iconic female musicians including Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, Courtney Love of Hole, and English singer-songwriter Kate Nash. As ‘The Stains’ lead singer Corinne Burns, Diane Lane’s vocal, no-nonsense attitude to sexism and industry exploitation struck a chord with many and remains prescient today, as well as her signature ‘skunk’ hairstyle and dramatic eye makeup capturing imaginations and becoming influential in its own right. Despite its major impact on those in the know, The Fabulous Stains was a difficult film to find for many years. The inaugural Storyhouse Gems screening will be an unmissable opportunity for audiences to experience this true cult classic and join the elite Stains fan club.


Night Is Short, Walk On Girl (15) Dir. Masaaki Yuasa, 2017.

In May, we jump forward in time and across the sea to 2017’s anime rom-com Night is Short, Walk on Girl. Visionary Japanese director Masaaki Yuasa (The Tatami Galaxy and Lu Over The Wall) delivers a distinctive and incomparable take on the romance genre with his expressive, maximalist and colourful visual style.  When a free-spirited and mysterious student known only as ‘The Girl With Black Hair’ heads out to spend a night exploring the city of Kyoto, she is pursued by her classmate and admirer, known only as ‘Senpai’. Senpai’s attempts to manufacture an organic interaction with The Girl to confess his romantic feelings are repeatedly thwarted by bizarre happenings and acts of fate that keep the pair apart; from drinking games with spiritual beings to spontaneous musical numbers.  Night is Short, Walk On Girl is unlike any film you have seen before and potentially will ever see again, and the inventive visual beauty and emotive soundtrack featuring music by anime-favourite alt-rock group Asian Kung-Fu Generation deserve to be experienced in a cinema environment.


Desperately Seeking Susan (15) Dir. Susan Seidelman, 1985.

In June, get into the groove with Susan Seidelman’s cult comedy classic Desperately Seeking Susan. An unlikely commercial success, the film, revolutionary for featuring two female leads and being written, produced, and directed by a woman, packed a powerful feminist punch at the box office, launching the career of Rosanna Arquette whilst sending the newly crowned ‘Queen of Pop’ Madonna into superstardom.  In Desperately Seeking Susan, the imagination of Roberta (Arqutte), a bored and miserable housewife, is captured by a series of romantic personal ads in the newspaper aimed at a mysterious woman named Susan (Madonna). Growing fascinated by the ads, Roberta sets off to catch sight of the free-spirited Susan and soon starts to follow the bohemian drifter around the city, adopting her style along the way. After a series of screwball antics, the two women’s lives become entangled when Roberta is mistaken for Susan, sparking a wild ride filled with thrills and romance.  Smart and playful, this quirky New York City fairy-tale explores themes of identity and destiny – with intoxicating on screen performances, era-defining fashion, and an iconic soundtrack featuring music from the early career of Madonna.


Mistress America (15) Dir. Noah Baumbach, 2014.

Last but not least, in July we celebrate the summer release of Barbie with a retrospective look at director Greta Gerwig and one of her lesser-seen films, Mistress America. Directed by Noah Baumbach (who Gerwig previously worked with on her breakthrough film Frances Ha) this co-written female-centric screwball comedy calls upon themes of love, art, and womanhood.  When Brooke (Gerwig) is contacted by her lonely soon-to-be step-sister Tracey (Lola Kirke) – an impressionable college freshman trying to settle in New York City as an aspiring writer – she takes heron an whirlwind night out. Entranced by Brooke and her adventurous lifestyle, Tracey continues to spend time with Brooke and becomes entwined in her alluring and eclectic schemes, but she soon learns that Brook’s boujee lifestyle is not everything that it seems.  Mistress America draws inspiration John Hughes-penned coming-of-age classics such as Pretty In Pink, and is a must-watch for a fans of Greta Gerwig’s Ladybird.


A new monthly staple of the Storyhouse Cinema programme, Storyhouse Gems will continue into the future with more hand-picked films, both rare and mainstream.

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

Written by Isobel Harrop and Alex Goldsmith.