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OUTSIDE reveals ‘out of this world’ events programme for Cheadle Moon

The full events programme for Cheadle Moon has been revealed by community arts programme OUTSIDE. The project, developed by a steering group made up of local organisations and residents, celebrates the life of local pioneering astronomer and selenographer Mary Adela Blagg. Twenty lunar inspired events will take place at St Giles the Abbot church in Cheadle from 15th March to 5th April 2024 including live performances, talks, films and workshops, with something for everyone.


To mark the 80th anniversary of Mary Blagg’s passing, Cheadle Moon will tell her inspirational story and celebrate her life. Born in 1858, Mary lived her entire life in Cheadle. Mary’s groundbreaking work mapping the moon saw her become one of the first women admitted into the Royal Astronomical Society. A crater on the moon, Blagg crater, was named after Mary, and in March 2023, a planet was named Maryblagg in her honour. Mary’s grave is in the churchyard of St Giles the Abbot in Cheadle.


Taking centre stage of the celestial celebrations, Museum of the Moon will rise inside St Giles the Abbot. This amazing touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram will be installed in the nave of the church. Measuring six metres in diameter, the moon features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. At an approximate scale of 1:600,000 each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 6km of the moon’s surface. The installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones.


The extensive programme of events taking place under Museum of the Moon includes a selection of lunar themed live performances. Award winning writer, performer and producerKeisha Thompson performs from her book of poems: Lunar and music and storytelling from Man on the Moon and album Moonwhile. Celebrated local choir Moorland Voices present songs, poetry and instrumentals relating to the moon, earth and stars. A concert with organistDan Bishop includes the theme from Star Wars and other movie classics, and musician Paul Cromford performs The Ancient Pull, a moonstruck song-cycle including a specially written tribute to Mary Blagg.

For families, there’s theatre show The Town Band of Bremen by The Fabularium, which follows the classic tale of four farmyard animals on a musical quest. Cheadle Library is runningStorytelling sessions under the moon with special telling of space and moon stories. And a space-themed Silent Disco with Our Kids Social is guaranteed to get the family dancing and singing under the moon!


The programme also includes two days of non-stop films in space, in partnership with Flatpack Festival. Families are invited to daytime sessions, DIY Moon Landing and Kids in Space, where they can build their own spaceship or make alien sock puppets and enjoy watching space themed animated films and cartoons. In the evenings, movie fans can watch 80s horror-comedy An American Werewolf in London plus a special showing of George Méliès silent classic A Trip to the Moon, and Oscar nominated Hidden Figures, the inspiring true story about three women working at NASA.

To hear about Mary Adela Blagg and her impact on world astronomy, visitors can listen to an audio story during their visit to Cheadle Moon, and attend a talk about her by Cheadle Discovery Group. Dr Mike Frost of the British Astronomical Association presents more stories of pioneering women in astronomy. And there’s the opportunity to learn surprising facts and map the moon with professional astronomer Dr Nick Lister. These evening sessions are a wonderful time to view Museum of the Moon when it is at its most magical.


Two sessions to get creative juices flowing include a Venn Diagram Poetry Workshop with Keisha Thompson and a Moonwalk with Dawn Jutton, photographer and Staffordshire poet laureate, inspired by the March ‘Worm’ full moon. And for mind, body and soul, there’sYoga and a Gong Bath under Cheadle Moon.


Visitors to Cheadle over the three weeks will see the town filled with celestial decorations in shops and streets, as businesses, schools and community groups join the celebrations.


Admission to Museum of the Moon is free of charge but tickets need to be booked in advance. Tickets for the events programme are also on sale now, with many of the events free of charge. Opening times and tickets at 


OUTSIDE creative director Sarah Bird said: “We can’t wait to welcome everyone along to Cheadle Moon, whether it’s to view the incredible Museum of the Moon, attend one of the many events or take part in activities happening under the moon. It’s going to be a brilliant three weeks at St Giles the Abbot and across the town, and an amazing way to celebrate the life of Mary Adela Blagg.”


Cheadle Moon is made possible through a collaboration between OUTSIDE, St Giles the Abbot and the Parish Church Committee, Cheadle Discovery Group, Creative Cheadle and Cheadle Town Council who share a vision for enriching cultural experiences in Cheadle. The event is supported by JCB, Alton Towers and Film Hub Midlands. Cheadle Moon is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.


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