Chester Mystery Plays

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The Chester Mystery Plays have become a rare and treasured part of Britain's cultural heritage, now only performed every five years, with a cast of hundreds including choirs and the gawping crowd!

Video of the 2003 plays can be seen at: http://www.chestermysteryplays.com/media/DVD-preview-lofi.wmv [edit] Where

On Cathedral Green, Chester, with covered seating for the audience. [edit] When

See the Mystery Plays this summer 28 June to 19 July 2008 and enjoy a spectacular, passionate and exciting theatrical experience full of music, dance, drama and magical effects. [edit] What's it all about?

From the beginning of Creation to the Last Judgement this funny and moving series of plays is drawn from Bible stories and retold with fresh verve and compelling new music.

The Plays in 2008 will have universal appeal – there will be street theatre and circus acts for the audience before the plays begin and during the plays, dramatic and rousing choral pieces, a burlesque, cabaret style Last Judgement and the fantastic magical skills of Oswestry-born magician Paul Dabak, who has been cast to play Lucifer. The plays will also be topical in that they promote the theme of recycling – the recycling of religions, props and materials, and even cast members themselves who appear as a main character in one scene and then become a Gawper in the crowd in another. The climactic Last Judgement will leave the audience in no doubt as to what is to become of the world should we not take the issues of global warming, pollution and other environmental disasters seriously! [edit] History

Performed on wagons throughout the city, the plays could be regarded as the first organised street theatre. Taken over by city guildsmen after the monks gave up the increasingly elaborate procedure of dramatising church services for the many who couldn't follow the Latin texts, these wagon performances became injected with wit and humour.

Very few other places found the economic or administrative means to stage such a sequence of plays, tracing God's intervention into human history, but the Chester cycle managed to thrive. It was (in medieval times) a popular annual event and the plays became a source of pride in the city

Even in the 1500s, when the growth of Puritanism led to such activities being banned altogether, Chester determined to continue and managed to stage its plays longer than anywhere else in England - much to the fury of the ruling archbishop!

A near-complete text of 24 plays and some fascinating documentation of actual medieval performances in Chester survives today. [edit] Atmosphere

Exciting, vibrant and very engaging

[edit] Conclusion

Book your tickets now - do not miss the greatest story ever told!


To see the plays live and appreciate their full theatrical magic come to Chester this summer when the Plays will be performed on the Cathedral Green with a cast of over two hundred under the professional direction of Robin Goddard and musical director Matt Baker. Telephone the box office on 01244 304618 [edit] Links

   Chester Mystery Plays on Wiki
   Chester Mystery Plays official website
   Full Text of the plays