Students from Bishops Bluecoat CE High School in Great Boughton, near Chester, have discovered the magic and drama of the Chester Mystery Plays in a unique project supported by the National Lottery.
The Year 7 and Year 8 pupils, part of the school’s Assemble drama group, presented their own potted version of the historic plays at Storyhouse’s Garret Theatre on Saturday (24th March).
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 also going to be taking part in the full production of the Chester Mystery Plays at Chester Cathedral in June and July this year.
Hilarie McNae, of Chester Mystery Plays, 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.”
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 will be at Chester Cathedral and runs from 27th June until 14th July.
Tickets are available from www.chestermysteryplays.com, by telephone (01244 500 959) or in person at the Chester Cathedral box office.