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West End classic at the Palace

Posted onPosted on 28th Mar

Theatregoers have a rare chance to see the magnificent West End classic Chess as it comes to Mansfield this April.

Penned by ABBA duo Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, alongside legendary lyricist Tim Rice, it contains the well-known chart hits One Night in Bangkok and I Know Him So Well alongside the epic show-stoppers of Nobody’s Side and Anthem.

The story sees love affairs mixed with political intrigue as two chess grandmasters face off on the board, and off it. A love triangle between Freddie Trumper, (played by Michael McIntyre’s singing fireman Andy Quinn), Anatoly Sergievsky (Kyle Fearn) and Florence Vassy (Sara Evans-Bolger) is set amongst simmering Cold War tensions underpinning continent-hopping chess tournaments.

Returning for their first production since Covid19, this amateur production by Heanor Musical Theatre Company follows on the heels of their award-winning 2019 production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Director Paul Young said: “It’s great to be able to return to the stage after such a break with this giant of musical theatre. As soon as I heard it was booked my name went straight down for it.

“It’s rarely seen on the amateur circuit as it’s musically such a complicated show to put on, but we hope we can wow the audiences audibly and visually with our unique interpretation of this masterpiece.”

Written in the early 80s as the Cold War heated up through Reagan-era shows of political and military might, the themes of East v West, disinformation and sacrifice are just as startlingly relevant today.

Being mindful of the sensitive nature of this play’s topic, unthinkable when rehearsals began back in October, a collection will be held each night for the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

Chess runs from Wednesday 6 to Saturday 9, April at Mansfield Palace Theatre. Tickets are £14 each and are available online from