Making Sense of Chester's Mystery Plays; Auditions for Next Year's Event
Byline: JO HENWOOD
CHESTER Mystery Plays are as much a part of the city's historic tradition as the Rows, City Walls, Roman amphitheatre and the River Dee.
This weekend sees the chance for people to get involved with the latest performance of the plays, which are staged every five years.
There will be auditions for roles for the 2013 production, and writer Stephanie Dale has ensured Chester is right at the heart of her new adaptation. It will be staged June 26-July 13 in the nave of the cathedral, its spiritual home.
She said: "I have worked on a lot of community projects and the joy for me is getting to know the community, the place and the people."
Stephanie, director Peter Leslie Wild and composer Matt Baker have held workshops throughout the city, most recently at the Hammond School in Chester.
She said: "The medieval plays were presented by the town's guilds. The students decided in this day and age the guilds would be different. They felt there should be a teachers' guild so I have decided to appoint The Creation as The Teacher's Play, and it will be presented as a lesson."
There are 26 plays in the Chester cycle, the most complete cycle of mystery plays in the world. One - Our Lady's Assumption - is lost and two - Balak And Balam and The Antichrist - are unique to Chester, the latter of which Stephanie has retained in her 12-play cycle.
She said: "From cover to cover, the original medieval plays include about nine hours of theatre and it has been my job to condense this into about two and a half hours. …