Last minute preparations for the 2013 Chester Mystery Plays at Chester Cathedral

Jonathan Sharps as Jesus in the Chester Mystery Plays

Jonathan Sharps as Jesus in the Chester Mystery Plays - Credit: Chester Mystery Plays

It has been two thousand years in the making and five years since the last production but the 2013 Chester Mystery Plays will open at Chester Cathedral on Friday, June 28.

This is the first time that the medieval plays, which tell stories from the Bible with a special Chester twist, will be performed in the cathedral’s magnificent nave.

Directed by Peter Leslie Wild, the cast numbers more than 300 local people, including schoolchildren, a choir and musicians, under the watchful eye of composer Matt Baker.

Peter said: “As we approach the first night, it is a joy to watch this huge company’s hard work coming to fruition.

“All the elements are coming together - lighting, music, sound, costumes, and of course acting - to create what will be a powerful spectacle.

“I am so proud of everyone who has contributed.”

Chairman of the Chester Mystery Plays company Jo Sykes added: “After four and a half years of planning here we are, once again, ready to perform another cycle of the Chester Mystery Plays.

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“This time, however, a very different production with a new script by Stephanie Dale condensing the plays into one night.

“Stephanie has retained much of the medieval and language, humour and quirky flavour of the original texts at the same time as creating a modern production for a 21st century audience.

“The production is spectacular, lively and yet at the same time incredibly moving and I commend it to you as evidence of what can be done by a large community cast of volunteers who have dedicated the last six months of their lives to this incredible project.

“We really do believe that what we do every five years plays an invaluable part in the heritage and cultural life of our beautiful city of Chester.”

The plays were originally written by Benedictine monks at the Abbey of St Werbugh (now Chester Cathedral) in the 14th century.

The 2013 production of the Chester Mystery Plays, designed by Judith Croft, will be in the nave of Chester Cathedral from June 26 - July 13 (previews June 26 and 27). Tickets are available from 01244 500959 or from