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.
The Chester Mystery Plays Board
Patron: The Marquess of Cholmondeley, KCVO
Areas of Responsibility
Sponsorship information and all matters concerning the board of Chester Mystery Plays Limited
Chairman: Jo Sykes
Administration, management and general enquiries
Project Manager: Sam Cheadle
Marketing and travel trade enquiries
Press, Publicity and Marketing Officer: Jo Henwood
Chester Mystery Plays merchandise, recordings etc.
Product Manager: Judy Cheesman
Friends of Chester Mystery Plays
Friends Co-ordinator: Amy Chambers
Media and publicity enquiries, or anything concerning this website
Press, Publicity and Marketing Officer: Jo Henwood
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’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 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 2013). 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 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 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 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 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. Ronno is also a director and trustee of Fallen Angels.
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. Vanda is now our Volunteer Co-ordinator.
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, Matt Baker Music). 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 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.
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 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 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.