Chester's Medieval Mystery Plays
This unique event is staged only once every five years. The last one was in the summer of 2013. The next staging in Chester will be in 2018 and the performances will take place in and around the Cathedral, in the heart of the city.
This spectacular production involves hundreds of local people in the retelling of the 'Greatest story ever told' from the Creation through to the Last Judgment.
Mystery plays first appeared in Europe around the 13th century as a means of celebrating the stories of the Old and New Testaments for the Feast of Corpus Christi. The original scripts were written by medieval monks and the performances took place inside churches. During the 14th century they were more often produced by crafts guilds and moved out into the streets and market places. One of the key features of the plays is that they are performed by local people and evolve over time to become an important community event.
During the Reformation mystery plays were suppressed and the Chester plays were revived in 1951 to mark the Festival of Britain celebrations.
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