Students from Bishops Bluecoat CE High School in Great Boughton have discovered the magic and drama of the Chester Mystery Plays in a unique project supported by the National Lottery.
The Year 7 and 8 pupils, part of the school’s Assemble drama group, presented a potted version of the medieval plays at Storyhouse’s Garret Theatre on Saturday (March 24).
Led by drama teachers Rob Otton and Ryan Gray, the group of 30 youngsters used comedy, drama and movement alongside simple props like a sock puppet, stuffed toys and bar stools to tell their version of The Creation, Noah’s Ark, King Herod and the Slaughter of the Innocents. Some of the students are taking part in the full production of the Chester Mystery Plays at Chester Cathedral in June and July this year.
Hilarie McNae, from hosts Chester Mystery Plays Ltd, said: “The energy, enthusiasm, talent and passion of these young people was extraordinary. In a funny, dramatic and moving performance we learned about the Plays and their origins in Bible stories written in the Middle Ages. The students brought them to life and made them very current.”
The students’ work will lead to the development and (free) publication of learning resources about Chester’s unique plays.
Hilarie added: “We are very grateful to our local councillors for helping us fund the project, and to Arts Council England and the National Lottery for a grant – we owe thanks to all those who buy Lottery tickets and support good causes.”
The Chester Mystery Plays are produced only once every five years in the city by a huge community cast under professional artistic direction. The 2018 production is at Chester Cathedral from June 27 – July 14. Tickets are available from www.chestermysteryplays.com, by telephone 01244 500959 or in person at the Chester Cathedral box office.