This summer saw the most successful production of the Chester Mystery Plays in living memory, as 11,000 people travelled from all over the world to see the plays which, for the first time ever, were staged in the dramatic setting of Chester Cathedral.
If it’s good enough for Chester, it’s good enough for us, and led by a professional production team, the cast of 150 volunteers will perform the plays on October 11 and 12 in the Well of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.
The cast were drawn from the community in and around Chester, and from the fantastic image above you might recognise Francis Tucker, better known to Liverpool theatregoers as the Dame in Liverpool Playhouse pantomimes. Tucker plays Lucifer, the great manipulator, which sounds as if it might suit the talented actor down to the ground.
Mystery plays are a rare and treasured part of Britain’s cultural heritage, and are performed every five years by a community cast of hundreds. They tell the story from creation to judgment day, adding contemporary details. The plays weave together comedy, tales of ambition, intrigue, betrayal and passion.
Mystery Plays chairman Jo Sykes said: “We brought the 2008 production to Liverpool as part of the European Capital of Culture programme. We’re delighted to be coming back to the Well at Liverpool Cathedral in October where we’ll treat the audience to another breath-taking production of this ancient and moving piece of theatre.”
“The massive cast includes children as well as adults, adult and children’s choruses and live musicians,” explained director, Peter Leslie Wild. “It’s great that we can give them the opportunity of doing it all over again, albeit in a slightly abridged version as we can’t bring our set with us. And we’re looking forward to performing Stephanie Dale’s script and Matt Baker’s new music once more.”
Tickets are now on sale through chestermysteryplays.com, cathedralshop.com, by phone on 0151 702 7255, or in person from the Liverpool Cathedral shop. Tickets are £15 full price and £12 concessions. Here’s a trailer they made for the Chester performances: