A CHESTER-BASED theatre company is set make history at a popular live music venue as it brings live theatre to its stage for the very first time.

Theatre Company Against The Grain will stage its latest production, 'Mr Dumpling', by playwright and company co-founder Mark Newman, at The Live Rooms in Chester, the first time that the popular live music venue, which recently survived the threat of demolition, has played host to a theatrical production.

Described as a twisted, dark comedy, the play runs at The Live rooms from Monday, November 29 until Wednesday, December 1 at 7.30pm and is produced by the same team behind the acclaimed Forum Studio Theatre productions of The Killing of Sister George and Glorious!, the sell-out productions of Jan Bengree's Worldly Women at Storyhouse and Small Tales at Chester Little Theatre.

Speaking about the play, company co-founder Paul Crofts said Mr Dumpling tells the story of middle-aged man Graham who moves back in with his ageing parents Joyce and Frank after splitting up with his partner Nigel.

Little does he expect to find his mother operating an "adult" telephone line for older gentleman and both of them at each other’s throats.

So, three weeks later, when he finds himself ‘assisting the police with their inquiries’ into their disappearance, just how much should he tell them?

Should he mention what his dad asked him to help with? Exactly what is buried under his mother’s prize-winning rhododendron? And who on earth is Mr Dumpling?

This latest play by Mark is bawdy, outrageous and funny, combining memorable dialogue and grotesque characters to promise an enjoyable night out, but perhaps not one you’d want to bring the kids to.

Mark, whose previous plays include Useless Beauty and The Prescribed Distance, said: "We're delighted to finally be able to stage my (now not so) new play, Mr Dumpling, and even happier to be bringing it to The Live Rooms in Chester, a venue more usually associated with live music.

"The management of the venue have already been very supportive and encouraging and we are very much looking forward to performing there.

"The last 18 months have been very frustrating as we originally had plans to perform the play in July 2020. However, the enforced lay-off has allowed me to fine tune the play and it's now as polished and funny as it can be.

"It has been something of a shock to the system to back in the rehearsal room and having to memorise lines again but a welcome change from doing nothing!

"We can't wait to share Mr Dumpling with an audience, we're sure they must be missing seeing live theatre every bit as much as we've missed producing it."

Mark has been involved in theatre in Chester for over 20 years with companies including Tip Top Productions and Chester Little Theatre. His theatre credits include Bouncers, Flint St Nativity, Dad's Army, Allo Allo, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Glorious!, The Killing of Sister George (Forum Studio Theatre), Breaking The Code, The Homecoming and The Ladykillers (Chester Little Theatre)

Joining Mark on stage are Marian Newman (Shirley Valentine, Fawlty Towers, The Killing of Sister George, Glorious!,(Forum Studio Theatre) Worldly Women(Storyhouse) Small Tales, The Ladykillers (Chester Little Theatre), Fiona Wheatcroft, (The Killing of Sister George, Useless Beauty, Forum Studio Theatre),Playhouse Creatures, The Real Inspector Hound, Small Tales (Chester Little Theatre), Stuart Evans (Bouncers, A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Forum, Fawlty Towers,(Forum Studio Theatre), The Homecoming, Small Tales, The Ladykillers, (Chester Little Theatre) It's A Sin (CH4), Richard Steventon (Glorious!, Fawlty Towers, Useless Beauty (Forum Studio Theatre) The Prescribed Distance (Chester Little Theatre) and Richard Hulse (Useless Beauty, The Cripple of Inishmaan and Uncle Vanya (Chester Little Theatre).

Full details of Mr Dumpling can be found at www.theliverooms.com where tickets can be booked online.