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Chester Mystery Plays
June 28, 2023 - July 15, 2023
The Chester Mystery Plays are a historic theatrical event presented under professional direction by the people of Chester. Their performance, once every five years, has become a rare and much anticipated highlight of the British arts calendar, attracting people from all over the world. The production is one of the largest community events in the UK featuring hundreds of enthusiasts of all ages among the cast, crew and the support teams working in administration, marketing and front of house.
About the Plays
Keeping History Alive and Well
The Chester Mystery Plays form a spectacular festival presented mainly by members of the local community under professional direction. This rare production has become a much anticipated highlight in the British arts calendar, attracting people from all over the world. One of the largest community events in the UK, hundreds of enthusiasts of all ages from throughout the area make up the cast, crew and the support teams working in administration/marketing and front of house.
The Chester Mystery Plays are performed in Chester every five years, with the most recent production being in 2018 in the nave of Chester Cathedral and the next full production being planned for 2023.
Mystery Plays were created all across Europe from the 13th century as a means of celebrating the stories of the Old and New Testaments for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Other famous Mystery Play “Cycles” in England were written in Coventry, York and Wakefield. The scripts, as in the case of the Chester Cycle, were often written by medieval monks. Originally performed inside the churches, from the 14th century they were produced by Crafts Guilds and performed in the open streets and market places on pageant carts (“waggons”). The mounting of the Plays in the nave of Chester Cathedral in 2013 was the first time in hundreds of years that they had been performed inside a church, and it was the first time they had ever been produced inside the cathedral nave itself. Performed by local people, both scripts and performances changed each year to remain current and have popular appeal.
The production of the Plays, so important to the local community, was suppressed during the Reformation and the last recorded performance prior to the 20th century revival was in 1575.
Book your seats for 2023!
Performances every Monday to Saturday,
Wed. 28 June to Sat. 15 July, with a matinée each Saturday.
7.30-10.30pm, or 1-4pm for matinées, including a 20min interval
Central runway staging, with stage platforms at either end, means that EVERYONE gets a great view of the action!
Off-peak prices Monday to Friday, 28th June – 7th July.
Children under 16 – £5 for all performances, when accompanied by a paying adult.
Please be advised when booking tickets, the blue seats can only accommodate wheelchair users.
For carer’s ticket please contact the cathedral box office on 01244 500 959.
To view full ticket prices view their website by clicking here