Sneak preview of Mystery Play characters today (Good Friday) on a meditative walk in Lincoln
ostponed by the pandemic from 2020, the plays which have medieval origins, have a striking resonance with contemporary circumstances as they explore, truth lies and power.
Presented by a community of local actors under professional direction, this ordinarily once-every-four-years revival of an ancient tradition has become a much anticipated highlight of the county’s arts calendar, drawing audiences from around the world.
Refreshed for this airing, the historical performances will bring Bible stories to life with a balance of playful humour and poignant sincerity at locations across Lincolnshire, including the new gardens at Lincoln Cathedral and – for the first time – a tour of four major county churches, from July 26 to August 6.
Performances are scheduled for July 25 to 30 at Lincoln Cathedral; before heading out on tour to St Mary’s Church, Horncastle on August 2, St Denys’ Church, Sleaford on August 3, St James’ Church, Louth on August 4 and finally two nights at All Saints’ Church Gainsborough, on August 5 and 6.
All performances are at 7.30pm, with the Lincoln shows presented open air in the shadow of the cathedral, with the opportunity to picnic and a special BSL-signed performance on Saturday, July 30.
Tickets are priced at £12 and £15, available now through www.lincolnmysteries.co.uk
With experience of the York Mystery Plays, director Tom Straszewski has brought fresh interpretation to the historic Lincoln plays.
Whilst remaining true to their medieval origins, they tell the story of the world from its creation through to Doomsday.
It is a collaborative approach where actors take on a multitude of characters, backed up by folk music, puppetry and dance, to bring the powerful narrative to life.
Tom said: “What draws me to the plays – and to Lincoln’s plays in particular – is their continued relevance.
“As we start to move out of the pandemic, we’re telling the story of a community coming together once more.
“Of course, they don’t find it easy; hardly surprising when there are devils, angels, saints and sinners all arguing what the new world should be like. But we’ll do it with good humour.”
Tom continued: “The medieval texts used by Lincoln are deeply concerned with truth-telling, trials and shaping stories. This speaks loudly at a time when truth feels unstable, politicians lie for power, and everybody has their own story to tell.
“We look forward to welcoming you to one or more of our 11 performances.”
A brief insight of what is to come will be presented today (Good Friday) in Lincoln as members of the company undertake a meditative walk up the High Street and Steep Hill to the cathedral.
In character and bearing a cross, they will leave St Benedict’s Square at 2.30pm; arriving at the Dean’s Green around 3.30pm.
There is still scope for anyone wanting to get involved, on stage or off stage. An opportunity has also arisen for an actor to play the key role of the Virgin Mary. Email Tom on [email protected], or visit www.lincolnmysteryplays.co.uk to get involved.