This is the second Drama festival of its kind. Hosted this year by Macclesfield Amateur Dramatic Society (MADS), it is staged over three days with nine plays in contention for a place in the AETF Northern Semi-Final which takes place on 9th and 10th May 2020. The winner of the Northern final will progress onto the AETF Grand Final due to take place on 13th June 2020.

This is the second Drama festival of its kind. Hosted this year by Macclesfield Amateur Dramatic Society (MADS), it is staged over three days with nine plays in contention for a place in the AETF Northern Semi-Final which takes place on 9th and 10th May 2020. The winner of the Northern final will progress onto the AETF Grand Final due to take place on 13th June 2020.

This is the second Drama festival of its kind. Hosted this year by Macclesfield Amateur Dramatic Society (MADS), it is staged over three days with nine plays in contention for a place in the AETF Northern Semi-Final which takes place on 9th and 10th May 2020. The winner of the Northern final will progress onto the AETF Grand Final due to take place on 13th June 2020.

We are aware of many of the terrible things that happened during the Second World War, but did you know that ten thousand Jewish children were evacuated from Nazi-occupied Germany just before the war broke out? The children were sent unaccompanied to the UK and fostered by families around the country. On the surface, this seems like a blessing; a huge number of children escaping the atrocities of war and a future in concentration camps, or worse. However, the decision to send a child away has long-term repercussions for more than just the child.

I went along to see this play with some trepidation, as I have always loved the film version and not all films transfer well to stage. To take the story of six out of work steelworkers from Sheffield and transplant it to Buffalo, could have taken some of the grittiness out of the story. However, Buffalo, New York; has many similarities to Sheffield, with its crumbling steel and automotive industry causing poverty, this switch would have been relatable to US audiences. Given that the writer, Terrance McNally and the composer/lyricist are American, it begins to make sense as to why they would set the play on their home turf.

I have a great passion for seeing amateur theatre, young talent blooming into rising and accomplished stars and seeing something that is unique, interesting and worthwhile. I have seen many productions from the Cheshire amateur dramatic group ‘Cody’s’, an organisation that has continued to thrive and develop under the expert guidance of Director Nick Cupit over the last 20 years and admire the company and Nick for having the courage to put on performances that are risky, complicated, challenging, thought provoking, funny and ,as this latest production demonstrates, relatively unheard of.

American writer Ken Ludwig has two Tony Awards and two Olivier Awards to his credit. He has had six shows on Broadway and seven in London’s West End and can turn his hand to both comedy and musicals. His latest play comes from closer to home as he is the younger son of the characters Jack and Louise.   ‘Dear Jack, Dear Louise’ is a play about how his parents met during World War II, using letters to get to know each other. As his plays have been performed in over 30 countries, I am sure this will also be a success.

Mischief Theatre Productions are back in Chester with another instalment of their laugh out loud comedies, Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, they have once again created a fantastically brilliant piece of theatre.

Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning. Storyhouse originals are back this Christmas with a classic tale of the boy who never grew up. This is the third Christmas at Storyhouse and they have brought a wonderful, magical show to Chester, a well-known story that has been brought up to date with parents working unsociable hours, children having to fend for themselves and some fantastic costumes with a modern twist.

This Olivier Award winning play written by Jessica Swale is the latest piece to be performed by MADS. The play follows the Restoration period when Charles II was restored to the throne and theatres were built or re-opened. It was at this time, that Charles II decreed that all female roles should be played by women. This opened the door for women to finally appear on stage. Nell Gwynn was one of the first actresses to take to the stage when the restoration theatres opened in the 1660’s.

With it being a chilly 1 degrees Celsius as I made my way to the Players Theatre in Cheadle it seemed quite apt that I was to see a play called 'The Lion in Winter'. Based on the 1968 movie, the play tells the story of King Henry II and his wife; Eleanor as they try to decide which of their sons to become heir to the throne.