About Us

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.

Company Administration

Patron: The Marquess of Cholmondeley, KCVO

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

Jane Brooke

Jane Brooke

Cathedral Observer
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.
Andrew Clarkson

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.
Gavin Eyres

Gavin Eyres

A Cestrian born and bred, Gav first left Chester for Aberystwyth University where he studied Biology, before moving to Nottingham to study his doctorate in molecular genetics. On his return to Chester he first sat on the board of trustees of the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Backford, before joining the trustees of the Mystery Plays in 2020 leading on finance. Gav lives in Hoole and works as a programme director for the NHS working across England.
Nick fry

Nicholas Fry

Friends coordination
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 has 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.
Vanda Hargen

Vanda Hargen

Friends Coordination
Vanda’s involvement with the Mystery Plays goes back to 1998 as a chaperone. She performed in the 2003, 2008 and 2013 cycles and ran the CMP Friends’ group for its first seven years. She was the production programme coordinator in 2008 and 2013 and coordinated the volunteer groups in 2018. Having helped run drama workshops based on the Plays Vanda was also part of the CMP 2018 Education Project for primary and secondary schools.
Jenny Jackson

Jenny Jackson

Friends coordination
Jenny has been involved with local Musical Theatre groups for many years. A former Chester Primary school teacher, she has been an acting Member of the Plays since 1997 where she appeared in her first Mystery Play roles and subsequently in a number of roles for the 2008, 2013 and 2018 Productions.
Andrew Longfield

Andrew Longfield

Data Management
A local designer and co-founder of a successful ecommerce business, Andrew brought his web design skills to the Plays in the lead-up to the 2013 production, launching our new website and setting up online marketing. Although a Man of Kent, Chester has been his home since 1994 and he has created websites for other local community projects, including Theatre in the Quarter, St Mary’s Creative Space and Matt Baker Music.
Simon Parrington

Simon Parrington

Simon Parrington has long been a supporter of Chester Mystery Plays, both with the raising of funds for past cycles and his appearances in the 2013 and 2018 Plays. As the director responsible for the company’s policies, Simon’s professional background as a Solicitor has been employed, particularly with regard to Health and Safety and Safeguarding.
Jonathan Philips

Jonathan Philips

Passion Plays
Jonathan Phillips is the Vicar at St Peter’s at the Cross in Chester. He has lived in Chester (with a small time away) since 1998. He has acted and studied drama and theatre since he was a child and has established two theatre companies and now oversees the Isabella Theatre Community. Jonathan has acted in Mystery plays in London but sadly not in Chester … yet! He is proud to be a board member of Chester Mystery Plays as is excited to be a part of its future!
Colin Potts

Colin Potts

Colin is a lecturer in Tourism and Marketing in the University of Chester Business School. Before that he was Chester’s Tourism Manager. He lives within the walls in in the heart of the city.
Felicity Roochove

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.
Felicity Roochove

Ian Sanderson

All matters concerning the board of Chester Mystery Plays
Adopting Chester as his home in 1986, Ian has been involved with the administration and governance of Chester Mystery Plays since 1992, first as Secretary and now as Chairman - albeit with one small and unremarkable appearance in the plays in 1997! Ian works in the city centre and is also a Lay Clerk at Chester Cathedral.
Chris Walton

Chris Walton

Business & Project Manager
Administration, management, sponsorship and general enquiries
Chris Walton served 14 years in the Royal Naval Submarine service after which he returned to his native Chester. Chris appeared as Lazarus and a number of ensemble roles in the 2008 Mystery Plays at which time he was also Commercial Director of Chester Cathedral. Currently a freelance Project Manager, Chris is delighted to be working with so many talented people in bringing the Plays back to Chester for 2023.

Please get in touch via our
Contact Form

Your email will be forwarded to the individual concerned

Marketing and social media
Jo Henwood

Website design & content
Andrew Longfield

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.

Claire Chatterton
Profile coming soon

Judy Cheesman
Judy has been involved in the Chester Mystery Plays since the late 1970s, as a volunteer who was then was asked to become part of the street theatre which preceded the performances. A teacher at Tattenhall Primary School, she taught children with special needs and so it was a unique opportunity to involve them. Over the years they loved being part of something so different and it increased Judy’s enthusiasm for the Plays. In 1994 she became a Board member, being involved in running the bar, selling merchandise and helping with the archives, whilst also discovering a skill for selling raffle tickets! She found it to be a wonderful experience working alongside such dedicated people with so many different skills to offer. Judy left the Board in 2017 with many happy memories.

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.

Ruth Davidson
Ruth was on the Executive of Chester City Council when she was allocated a seat on the Board. She later became a Company Member and is also a Friend. She strongly believes that the Mystery Plays are a vital part of the life and history of the City and “long may they continue”.

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.

John Ebo
Profile coming soon

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. Ronno is also a director and trustee of Fallen Angels.

Jill Houlbrook
Jill Houlbrook became involved with the Mystery Plays when she was Lord Mayor of City of Chester. Although she is an elected borough councillor and member of the City of Chester Trustees her interest in and support for the plays is also very personal. Jill has a part in the plays on her bucket list.

Chris Mapp
Profile coming soon

Hilary McNae
Hilarie McNae is both a former Magistrate and Sheriff of the City of Chester. She is a Freeman of the City of Chester and so provides a link between today`s Freemen and the medieval Freemen who performed these plays on the streets of Chester. Whilst President of the Freemen and Guilds she organised a group of Freemen from all over England who processed in their robes from the Guildhall to watch the 2003 performance at the Cathedral. She first took part in the plays whilst still at school and was a Board member for some 20 years.

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.

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.

Inger Trevor-Barnston
John Ross asked Inger Trevor-Barnston in late summer of 1996 to organise a Fund Raising Dinner for 1997’s Mystery Plays. The event took place in the Town Hall in March 1997 and brought in £ 5.000! On the strength of this, Inger was invited to become an associate member, which, a year or two later, led to a full Board Membership. Because of the success of the dinner, she was asked by the Board to continue fund raising which she did for the next 20 years. Inger has particularly enjoyed the company of others and the pride of being part of Chester’s heritage.

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.

Additionally, David Starbuck Edwards is present at our AGMs as representative of the Guilds of Chester.
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