A brief overview from Jo Henwood, CMP's marketing guru
God has met Lucifer, the shepherds and kings have touched base with the Angel Gabriel and Jesus has had tea and biscuits with Adam and Eve.
This is no parallel universe but the beginning of months of rehearsals by a mammoth community cast and crew of almost 400 people who will present the 2018 cycle of Chester Mystery Plays at Chester Cathedral this summer.
If you have never seen a production of ‘The Mysteries’ as they are affectionately known, they are Bible stories with an extra special Chester twist. If you ever played a King in the school Nativity play, you will know that they come from the East. But sit down to watch the Chester Mystery Plays and ‘butter from Blacon’ will be what you find in the shepherd’s knapsack. You can just imagine the guildsmen of medieval Chester telling the greatest stories ever told but making sure they got some product placement!
Director Peter Leslie Wild puts the cast through their paces every weekend in a rehearsal room at the University of Chester’s Queen’s Park campus while a chorus of angels take notes from composer and musical director Matt Baker. The writer, Deborah McAndrew, often travels up from Stoke to keep an eye on the words and company manager Julie Elston is always on hand with advice on everything from tea to toilets.
Mystery Plays are an inherent part of Europe’s cultural heritage and Chester’s cycle is the most complete in regular performance today. Make sure to get your ticket for this year or you will have a long wait for the next.
First published in the Chester Chronicle, Thursday March 8