...SPECTACLE AND HISTORY, MIRACLES AND MYSTERY

Chester Mystery Plays is a highly collaborative enterprise involving the talents and goodwill of all kinds of people at all kinds of levels. Chester Mystery Plays Limited, a company with charitable status, was formed in the 1980s with the sole aim of ensuring the active survival of the Chester Mystery Plays. The current chairman is Jo Sykes.

The company was formally established as a company limited by guarantee and registered charity in 1986 (company number 02050251, registered charity number 518768). The Board of Directors oversees all the Company’s activities, and the Directors are also the Trustees. As there are no permanent, paid staff, the Board members are also responsible for managing the company and are consequently very “hands on”, each individual taking a lead on different strands of work, e.g. front of house, marketing.


Company Administration

Patron: The Marquess of Cholmondeley, KCVO

Please get in touch via our general Contact Form and select the appropriate FAO field.
Your email will be forwarded to the individual concerned.

Please get in touch via our general Contact Form and select the appropriate FAO field.
Your email will be forwarded to the individual concerned.

Areas of Responsibility

Sponsorship information and all matters concerning the board of Chester Mystery Plays Limited

Chairman: Jo Sykes


Administration, management and general enquiries

Business Manager: Jane Dawson

Marketing and travel trade enquiries
c/o Jane Dawson

Chester Mystery Plays merchandise, recordings etc.
Product Manager: Judy Cheesman

Friends of Chester Mystery Plays
c/o Jane Dawson

Media and publicity enquiries, or anything concerning this website
c/o Jane Dawson

Company Members

There are also a number of Company Members. These are people who have been involved with the Company as volunteers and provide extra support for the Board in managing the Company’s activities.

Susan Campbell
Susan’s background is in nursing and she is now retired. She became involved with the Mystery Plays in the early 1980s, soon after which she was appointed to the Board. She has been a magistrate for over 30 years, is a member of the Board of Governors of the William Jones Almshouses and a sides person at her church. She acts as a judge at the local horticultural show and does voluntary work at Wealstone CLS Care Home. In her spare time she enjoys baking and sewing. She supports Inger Trevor-Barnston in fundraising events.

Amy Chambers
Amy is the Coordinator for the Friends of Chester Mystery Plays. She and husband Robin have performed in two cycles of the Plays (in 2003 and 2014). They have also performed in many local amateur operatic productions and are members of Buzz-AH! an award winning Flintshire-based musical theatre performance group created to encourage people with and without disabilities to participate on an equal basis in the arts. Amy also edits Robin’s Myrddin’s Heir series of novels, available on Kindle.

Stephen Cross
Stephen has assisted with front of house duties at the last four productions of the Chester Mystery Plays. He is the solicitor and company secretary at the Countess of Chester Hospital and Clerk to the Governors at The King's School, Chester.

Diana Dunn
Diana is the archivist for the Chester Mystery Plays. Diana retired from full-time work as senior lecturer in the department of History and Archaeology in the University of Chester in 2012. Since then she has become involved in a number of local archive projects, having originally trained as an archivist, and having worked in the University of London library and the Cheshire Record Office.

Norah Edwards
Norah is Cestrian born and bred and a Freeman of the City, being the Steward of the Mercers’ Company and Archivist of the Freemen and Guilds of Chester. In 1992 whilst working at Chester Cathedral, she took part in the Mystery Plays which sparked her interest in them. Going back to York University in 1993, as part of her degree course, Norah studied the Guilds of the City of York and at present is researching the Chester Mercers’ Company. Her primary source information on the Mystery Plays is from this Company’s involvement taken from their Minute Books (starting in 1604). At the last cycle of plays, Norah actively organised the Freemen to take part and for them now to have a Mystery Plays contingency fund.

Ronno Griffiths
Ronno is a Board Member of Theatre in The Quarter and has a strong commitment to community based arts. She became a company member of CMP in 2010 and performed in the 2008 cycle.

Vanda Hargen
Vanda has been involved with four cycles of the Plays and has performed in three (2003, 2008 and 2013). She was the Coordinator of the Friends of Chester Mystery Plays from its inception in 2007 to 2014.

Andrew Longfield
Andrew is a local designer and online retailer who brought his web design and marketing skills to the Plays in the lead-up to the 2013 production, launching the new website and setting up online marketing platforms for CMP, followed by similar projects for other community theatre initiatives (St Marys Creative Space, Theatre in the Quarter). Although a Man of Kent, he has lived in Chester since 1994, and is delighted to be able to contribute to such an historic and vibrant local event.

Eric Plenderleath
Eric served as Executive Member for Culture & Leisure immediately prior to his retirement from Chester City Council in 2009. He was a member of the Chester Gateway Theatre Board for 20 years, and also served on Arts Council England (North West). He was a founder Board member of Chester Performs and also of Chester Festivals, and has had a lifelong interest in the Arts.

Felicity Roochove
A Cestrian born and bred, Felicity appeared in the 1997 Cycle of the Plays. She then went to University where she studied Archaeology and Anthropology. On her return to Chester she was the Administrator and Project Manager of the 2003 Cycle, a role which firmly secured her passion for these wonderful Plays. As a Freeman of the City, she provides another link to the history of the Plays which were originally performed by the Guilds. As she recently got married in Chester Cathedral, she is looking forward to seeing the 2013 Cycle performed within the Cathedral for the first time.

Peter Speirs
Peter has been involved with theatre and music in Chester and in Ellesmere Port for more than forty years. He acted in productions of the Mystery Plays between 1987 and 2008, and was House Manager in 2013. Peter is a retired surveyor, and is a member of the Quaker meeting in Chester.

Wendy Tudor-Morgan
Wendy has been a keen supporter of Chester Mystery Plays since her school days in Chester in the 50s and was a member of the Board for four years. She is now a member of the company and on the fund raising committee. She and her team of ladies have on several occasions catered for VIP guests at the plays. For many years she has done voluntary work in local theatres and one of her favourite pastimes is going to see live theatre of all kinds.

Dolores Whitton
Dolores was a member of the Board from 1987 to 2014. She has performed in four productions – 1992 was a family affair as her son and daughter, then 9 and 14 years old, performed with her in the Cruxificion. Her background is in Education and she was a Chester City Councillor for 16 years, including being Mayor of the City in 1986-87, and was a Magistrate for over 30 years. She is presently Chair of Governors at Upton-by-Chester Humanities High School.
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Andrew Clarkson
Andrew studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts before training as a Drama Teacher. For the last 8 years he has been Head of Drama at The Bishops’ High School and is now Assistant Headteacher. He joined the board in 2007 – for whom he acts as the lead on Education Liaison. Andrew's script work includes ‘Tailor Made Love’ and ‘Hunch’ written for the comedy actor Philip Brodie.
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Edward Austin
Edward joined the CMP board in 2009 and is the designated lead on financial matters. He moved to Chester in 1990 and has worked at the University of Chester. He is currently on secondment as Director of Finance of the University of Chester Academies Trust. Edward was previously a member of the board of the Chester Gateway Theatre for over ten years and is a keen supporter of the Arts.
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Canon Jane Brooke
Jane is Chester Cathedral’s observer to the Board. She was installed as a Residentiary Canon in September 2010. She is responsible for the education work of the Cathedral and is Canon Chancellor and Canon Librarian.
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Jo Sykes, BEM
Jo spent her professional life in academic administration at what is now The University of Chester and was appointed Director of Registry Service in the 1990s until her retirement in 2003.

Running alongside her professional career Jo has always had a strongly developed interest in the performing arts which has been dominated by her involvement in The Chester Mystery Plays both as an actor and more recently as a trustee. This led eventually to her appointment as Chairman of the company in 2003. She is also a director of Theatre in the Quarter and a director and Vice-Chair of The Hammond, an independent school specialising in the performing arts.

Jo was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Cheshire in November 2013, and was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours list 2015.
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Ruth Davidson
Ruth’s first connection with Chester Mystery Plays was through Kingsway High School where she worked in the 1970s. She and her students made some of the wagons that took the plays around the city. One thing led to another… Ruth became a local Councillor and was appointed to the Board. She was hooked and the rest, as they say, is history! Ruth leads for the Board on safeguarding and policy development.
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Inger Trevor-Barnston
Inger was born and educated in Stockholm where she read sociology and anthropology at University. She came to Cheshire via Nairobi and Switzerland. Her wide ranging interests and love of Cheshire and the North West led her to train as a Blue Badge Guide, a role she has carried out with great enthusiasm for 27 years. Inger leads on organising fundraising events for Chester Mystery Plays. She is also a committee member of the Art Fund, Chairman of the Chester Grosvenor Club, and a Trustee of Chester Cathedral Development Trust. Since the early 1980s she has been a keen judge for the Best Kept Village/ Community Pride Competition.
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Ian Sanderson
Ian is the Vice-Chair and Company Secretary of the Chester Mystery Plays Board.
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Hilarie McNae
Hilarie has been a Board Member since 2000. She is a Freeman of both Chester and London, and provides the link between the Board and the Guilds, who enacted the Plays in medieval times. She has acted in two productions. Hilarie is currently a Councillor with Cheshire West and Chester Council and represents the Council on the Board of Chester Performs.
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Judy Cheesman
Judy has been a keen supporter of the Chester Mystery Plays since the early 1980s. She helped with front of house activities and joined the Board after the 1992 production. As a teacher at Tattenhall Primary School she became involved with the Street Theatre and with the children writing, acting and making props and costumes. Her Board roles include leading on Front of House, merchandise and the CMP archive.
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Nicholas Fry
Originally from Formby, Nick has performed in theatres all over the country in productions ranging from world premieres to pantomimes. He can also be seen regularly on television, as well as heard in several BBC radio plays. Nick’s full time role is being responsible for the care of visitors in Chester Cathedral. He is a member of the Chester Mystery Plays Board, and appeared in the hugely successful 2003, 2008 and 2013 productions of the Chester Mystery Plays – as God in 2003 and 2013 and King Herod in 2008.
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Kiaran McEvoy
Kiaran joined the board of CMP in 2014 after appearing in the 2013 cycle, which was his first experience of acting. Kiaran is originally from Coventry and has lived in the Chester area since 1999 and very much now sees Chester as home. Kiaran has spent his career in financial services marketing and is currently Vice President of Marketing for mbna. He hopes to utilise his experience to help with his Board responsibility for Marketing.
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Felicity Roochove
A Cestrian born and bred, Felicity appeared in the 1997 Cycle of the Plays. She then went to University where she studied Archaeology and Anthropology. On her return to Chester she was the Administrator and Project Manager of the 2003 Cycle, a role which firmly secured her passion for these wonderful Plays. As a Freeman of the City, she provides another link to the history of the Plays which were originally performed by the Guilds.
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Cllr Jill Houlbrook
Jill is the Cheshire West and Chester Council’s observer to the Board. She is an elected member of the Council representing Upton ward. Jill is an enthusiastic supporter of the Mystery Plays and during her year as the Lord Mayor of City of Chester, 2013 - 2014 she championed Chester’s rich cultural and diverse arts heritage.