Angel's Dream Becomes Reality
Once my friends and family had picked themselves up from the floor where they had collapsed laughing on hearing that I was playing an angel, the first thing they wanted to know was what being in the Mystery plays was like.
I could have told them that it was a dream come true because as a visiting schoolgirl in the Sixties I had watched in awe as shepherds appeared on platforms in the streets of Chester, God spoke from high on a church roof and Lucifer disappeared into the fiery mouth of hell somewhere under the pavement, while I longed passionately to be part of it all.
Well, it was a long wait. I came to live in Chester last October and on the day I moved into my new home the Standard dropped through the letterbox and as I leafed through it I noticed the invitation to audition. ‘Meant to be,’ I told myself and sent off the necessary email that same evening.
There are so many things I love about the plays. The words speak to us from a long time ago and tell us something about the people in medieval Chester as well as reminding us of the familiar stories, the music is in turns moving, rousing and dramatic, while the opportunity to hear the hurdy-gurdy and the didgeridoo as well as more familiar instruments is a bonus I wasn’t expecting.
But most of all I love the fact that so many people are involved and that there is an enormous age range, making it feel very inclusive. It’s fantastic to watch a young drummer and an older accordion player working together, to smile at tiny children scurrying round as rabbits, to see and hear the very talented teenagers and young adults sing, play and act, and to watch all the actors grow in confidence as they grapple with the text and learn their moves. We’re also very lucky to have such amazing and patient professionals leading us. Even when the rehearsals seem a bit long and the weekend vanishes, a powerful scene or a song, or a bit that hasn’t worked very well and then suddenly falls into place, makes it all worthwhile.
I’m glad I waited.