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Chester Mystery Plays to bring Bible stories to life

The Chester Mystery Plays return to the city’s cathedral this summer.

Playwright Deborah McAndrew has created a new script for the latest cycle of the plays, which opened on June 27.

The historical community theatre event takes place every five years and the plays are based on stories from the Bible, from the Creation to the Last Judgement.

The mystery plays were originally written by Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St Werburgh (now Chester Cathedral) in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The 25 individual plays in the Chester Cycle are condensed in to one night of performance, and people travel from all over the world to see the stories unfold in the cathedral nave.

A 200-strong cast drawn from Chester, the North West and North Wales tells the Bible stories as if they were set in the cathedral city. The plays are directed by Peter Leslie Ward with music by Matt Baker and design by Dawn Allsopp.

Noah's Ark. Above: Nick Sherratt as Jesus on the cross. (Photos by Mark Carline)

Deborah McAndrew said: “I came to watch the Chester Mystery Plays in 2013 with my family and was delighted when Peter approached me with the idea of writing a new script for 2018.

“I’ve always known about mystery plays and medieval theatre and am especially interested in the connection between theatre and the church. To be honest, it’s a bit of a dream job for me.”

The Chester Mystery Plays are at Chester Cathedral from June 27 to July 14. Tickets from the website HERE

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