In England of the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mystery Plays developed to bring biblical stories to the streets. Performed by the appropriate Town’s Guild (early Trade Unions), the Water Carriers performing Noah’s Flood, the Goldsmiths, The Coming of the Kings.
Most towns in medieval England may have had their own plays – sadly, the only extant cycles left are York, Chester and Wakefield. Each broadly reflecting the values and identities of their home city.
Chester, a border town with Wales and then a port, is more roughly comic and violent than the others.
Performed over three days during Whitsun it was a fantastic opportunity for the craftsmen to not only demonstrate their religious fervour, ensuring a reward in the afterlife, but also to showcase their worldly skills and abilities, thus attracting new clients and markets.
‘Utterly captivating … an exhilarating sensory feast.’
‘Sensational … Shows as moving and uplifting as this only arrive once in a blue moon’
‘The production’s exuberance is irresistible’
‘Gorgeous chant and infectious dance’
‘A divine show’
‘An irrepressible South African troupe’
‘The whole thing is exciting, surprising, clever, uplifting and moving.’
‘Mark Dornford-May’s adaptation is utterly captivating’
London Evening Standard
‘A sensational show to nourish the soul.’
‘Glorious township singing that soars with joy, faith and passion’
‘Shows as moving and uplifting as this only arrive once in a blue moon.’
‘Not just a well-drilled company but an expression of communal joy’
‘The sheer, unabashed joy with which this youthful, exuberant 33-strong cast set about staging their versions of the bible stories makes for one of the most colourful, melodic and uplifting spectacles currently to be had in theatreland.’