Monday, November 24, 2008

The Chester Cycle of Medieval Mystery Plays - London performance

By Emma Foster
20 November 2008
Press Association Regional Newswire - London

A series of medieval mystery plays will be performed in the City of London this week. The Players of St Peter are performing The Chester Cycle of Medieval Mystery Plays at the Wren Church of St Clement Eastcheap, from November 24 to 28.

Laura Barber, the Players' publicity officer, said: "We are the only group of actors - or players - performing these pre-restoration Plays in the City of London. They date back to the 15th Century. These plays were taken from the Christian gospel but appeal to all who are interested in the theatre or, indeed, English history. We turn the fine Wren Church of St Clement's into a theatre for the duration of the performance week."

The mystery plays are an English tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. They were developed to present scenes from the bible at a time when few people could read. The Player's director Olive Stubbs said: "We will open with a prologue setting the basic theme of the creation and fall as Lucifer tempts man from original harmony with God. Our focus is then on the arrival of the Christ child into a busy imperial world with its impact felt on visionaries and local townsfolk alike. The famous Shepherds' play with its feast and fights and singing establishes the Christmas story in a local context. We then see Christ as an adult finding his identity by meeting the challenge of Lucifer and later - following his death - coming to release the good people of the past from the darkness of hell back into reunion with God. Finally Christ returns to his earthly companions to give them hope and purpose before ascending to the harmony of heaven himself in order to prepare a way for them. We hope that you will enjoy these plays as much as we do, and that they will provide a happy start to your Christmas season."

There will be two performances of each text per day in the church on Clement's Lane in the City of London at 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Tickets are priced £7.50 and £6 and there is a discount for students at the 8.30pm performance. For more information or to book tickets visit