17 May – Storyhouse cinema, theatre, library, The Kitchen open!

Storyhouse theatre, cinema, The Kitchen and full library are now open!

Here are the highlights of the first few days:

  • Film award winners and nominees including Nomadland, Minari, Sound of Metal and Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Critically acclaimed theatre
  • Exclusive music season curated by Mark Radcliffe
  • Opportunities for young people

We’ve reopened the cinema, theatre and library and are preparing to welcome communities back into the building, with a programme of life affirming theatre, Oscar winning films, joyful music and opportunities for young people.

Andrew Bentley, CEO of Storyhouse said: “As a library we opened as soon as we possibly could in April, and it is wonderful to be reopening our stages and cinema and looking forward to seeing our community back in the building where they belong – studying, creating and plotting. Their support during the last year has got us to where we are today – we cannot thank them enough.

Award winners and nominees

In its opening weeks, we will be screening the winner of the Best Picture  Oscar Nomadland plus a number of nominees including Minari, Sound of Metal and Judas and the Black Messiah– plus a selection of films previously available to audiences for online viewing only.

Nomadland stars Frances McDermod as a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream, while Judas and the Black Messiah tells the story of Fred Hampton, the gifted civil rights leader who rose through the Black Panther party to became chairman of the Chicago chapter. Sound of Metal stars the mercurial Riz Ahmed as Ruben, whose precarious, nomadic rock life is threatened when he suddenly goes deaf after a gig.

Also screening The Human Voice and Wolfwalkers.

All cinema seating will be socially distanced, meaning capacity is limited, and prebooking is advised to avoid disappointment.

Two critically acclaimed shows

Indoor performances will resume with social distancing measures in place and Storyhouse is ready with a box of entertaining and thought-provoking delights.

Madame Ovary, at the theatre from 21 – 23 May, charts the experience of Rosa Hesmondhalgh who was just 23 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

This life-affirming show, which won its author five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe, has been described as both ‘breath-takingly sad and intensely funny’.

Julie Hesmondhalgh’s acclaimed one-woman show The Greatest Play in the History of the World, will perform from 26 – 30 May.

Julie narrates a story of two neighbours and the people on their street, navigating audiences through the nuances of life, the possibilities of science and the meaning of love.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Mark Radcliffe has curated a collection of his favourite emerging and established folk acts. The series promises nights to recover and reunite with great music. It kicks off with The Breath on 3 June.

Introducing Rioghnach Connolly and Stuart McCallum’s exquisitely crafted and heartfelt songs to Storyhouse audiences.

The duo’s latest album Let The Cards Fall is a bewitching collection of tracks which showcase Connolly’s heart-stoppingly soulful voice.

Meanwhile there is a chance to catch ballet’s stars of the future today when Rambert2 visits Chester on 8 – 9 June. The group’s 11 young dancers bring their outstanding ability and creativity to the city for two nights of world-class performance.

Chester’s own Belle Voci come to Storyhouse on 18 June to share their passion for opera.

Emily Burnett and Sophie Rowland stunned the panel on ITV’s The Voice with their showstopping version of The Flower Duet, and under judge Jennifer Hudson’s guidance went on to reach the 2018 final of the hotly contested TV music show.

Internationally renowned, London-born jazz trumpeter Byron Wallen brings his band Four Corners to the venue on 22 June as part of a UK tour. Wallen has appeared with jazz greats across the globe and is in demand as both a performer and teacher.

The award-winning musician’s work often draws inspiration from contemporary and indigenous cultures.

And the music continues on 25 June, when a second Mark Radcliffe presents evening features the multi award-winning Rachel Newton.

Newton is a singer and harpist, a musical storyteller who draws on poems and ballads of a century ago and works them into contemporary compositions which are ambitious, original and unique. She recorded her fifth solo album, To The Awe, during lockdown and released it in November last year.

Storyhouse’s activities with young people will continue, including its Youth Theatre and young leaders programmes. Plus, the Storyhouse young programmers will launch their exclusive theatre project with industry leaders Half Man Half Bull. There will also be an opportunity for aspiring marketers to sign up for the latest Young Marketers course and the young readers on the lookout for new book-worm recruits.

Meanwhile, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in the city’s municipal park is being built ready to open on Saturday 29 May, and in the cathedrals Dean’s Field open air cinema hit Moonlight Flicks kicks off.

And for foodies Storyhouse’s award winning restaurant The Kitchen will reopen to serve food daily, with dishes inspired by the Levant. Whilst outside on Northgate Street Storyhouse’s Grill will continue to serve BBQ wraps Friday – Sunday.