We were really lucky with the weather the day we went to
for the open-air production of Macbeth
at . We’d had thunder and lightning in
the night and more, plus heavy rain, was forecast for exactly the time the play
was on but, in the event, there was only one heavyish shower towards the end of
the play, which almost everyone ignored – quickly pull on rain jacket, put bin
bag over knees, focus on play – because it was riveting! Grosvenor Park
What a play it is! The Scottish play has long been my favourite Shakespeare, ever since we studied it in high school under an English teacher who sparked with life and enthusiasm and made Shakespeare come alive for a group of usually-bored-with-English-literature 16-year-olds. And this production was exceptional, with both Macbeth (played by Mark Healy) and Lady Macbeth (Hannah Barrie) performing their roles most excellently, and almost all the bit actors doing a splendid job.
It was superb to see Shakespeare performed live in a round make-shift theatre to an enraptured audience. I have no photos of the actual performance as photography was not permitted so you’ll need to be content with this panorama of the arena and a link to the website.
We caught the train from Northwich to
as it was easier than parking in the city. The journey only took about 30
minutes, followed by a short bus ride from the station to Chester ’s city centre. Chester
The oldest streets in
also have a kind of double-decker shopping arrangement called the Rows, a
series of first-floor covered walkways with shops all along one side – very
sensible on a rainy day, I can tell you. Some of the inner city streets are
also turned over to pedestrians during the daytime – as a non-driver, I
heartily approve of this measure. Chester
The interior also contains the tombs of an 11th-century bishop and a 12th-century monk, as well as several chapels (dedicated to St Mary Magdalen, and Sts Oswald, George, Nicholas and Werburgh). The stained glass windows, some old, some modern, are particularly beautiful as you can see from the photos.
There is a café in the refectory hall, appropriately enough – though we didn’t eat there, and a well-stocked gift shop – though we didn’t buy anything. The Cathedral is a Grade 1 listed building, and definitely well worth a visit.
We strolled along the riverside where boats were taking visitors on trips and a band was playing in the rotunda, we ate, and Sarah did a spot of shopping. Apart from the occasional shower of rain, we had a thoroughly enjoyable day, and then as ..
Light thickens; and the crow
Makes wing to the rooky wood;
Good things of the day begin to droop and drowse;
(Macbeth, Act 3, scene 2)
… we caught our train home before the witches came out to play.