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There are more than a few stories involving ghosts attached to the area around St. Mary’s Hill in Chester, which makes St. Mary’s – A Creative Space the ideal venue for Chester Operatic Society’s forthcoming production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Ruddigore’, also known as ‘The Witch’s Curse’. First performed in 1887, the characters in this comic opera include a group of bored professional bridesmaids, a madwoman, a member of the aristocracy disguised as a farmer, and the ghosts of the bad Baronets of Ruddigore.

Chester Operatic has a long history of bringing the works of Gilbert and Sullivan to a local audience in a variety of venues, though it is almost a century since its last full production of ‘Ruddigore’ which took place at the long since vanished Royalty Theatre on City Road in 1924.

‘Ruddigore’ director Juliet Miles

Society member Juliet Miles is directing the current production, and is looking forward to the atmospheric possibilities offered by the deconsecrated church building, especially on an Autumn evening. Juliet says “I’m thrilled to be back directing friends old and new at Chester Operatic. I fell in love with ‘Ruddigore’ as a 19 year-old student and it’s remained one of my favourites ever since. We’re transforming St Mary’s into an Edwardian Ruddigore Abbey where the family and servants are looking forward to entertaining you, their houseparty guests, with a slice of the family’s history.”

Performances of ‘Ruddigore’ will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 3rd – Saturday 5th October at St. Mary’s – A Creative Space, Castle Street, Chester. Tickets are priced at £12.50 (£6 for under 12s).

For further information and to book tickets, go to: www.ticketsource.co.uk/chesteroperatic or call 01244-375662.