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Historic Norwich landmarks host medieval theatrical tradition

PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:07 20 July 2018

Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle will host a series of performances by Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays.
Photo: Richard Jarmy Photography

Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle will host a series of performances by Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays. Photo: Richard Jarmy Photography

Richard Jarmy Photography

Two of Norwich’s most historic landmarks are the stage for a centuries-old theatrical tradition.

Norwich Cathedral.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorwich Cathedral. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Cathedral and the city’s castle will host a series of performances by Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays which aims to give 21st century audiences a taste of the biblical plays once presented to the masses by trade guilds in centuries past.

Only one mystery play connected to Norwich is thought to remain - The Grocer’s Play: The Fall of Man - and this will be performed next week alongside performances from the N-Town Plays cycle which is thought to be linked to the wider East Anglia region.

The four-day Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays event - from Wednesday, July 18 to Saturday, July 21 - follows on from the theatre company’s sell-out debut performances at Norwich Castle in 2016.

The cycle of plays for 2018 will be performed in two parts.

Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle will host a series of performances by Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays.
Photo: Mark Ivan BenfieldNorwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle will host a series of performances by Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays. Photo: Mark Ivan Benfield

Part One will feature the plays Creation, The Fall of the Rebel Angels, Paradise and the Fall of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah’s Flood, Abraham and Isaac, Moses and the Pharaoh.

Part Two will feature The conflict of David and Goliath, The Nativity, The Baptism of Christ, The Passion, The Resurrection, The Last Judgment.

Director Peter Beck said: “We are excited to be back with these incredible stories at two iconic Norwich locations. It’s an amazing feeling to be staging plays in locations that would have been used centuries ago.”

He added: “While we know the stories to be bold and dramatic, they are also very poignant and full of humour; they take you on an amazing journey.

Norwich Castle. Photo: Nick ButcherNorwich Castle. Photo: Nick Butcher

“Norwich remains one of the most significant medieval cities in Britain and at one time would have been the largest and most prosperous, outside of London. The plays are just one of the ways we can keep that history alive and continue to promote what the city has to offer.”

Norwich Castle will host Part One on Wednesday, July 18 and Part Two on Saturday, July 21.

Norwich Cathedral will host Part Two on Thursday, July 19 and Part One on Friday, July 20.

All performances are at 7.30pm.

Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle will host a series of performances by Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays.
Photo: Richard Jarmy PhotographyNorwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle will host a series of performances by Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays. Photo: Richard Jarmy Photography

Ticket prices for each performance are adults £12, concessions £10 and children £6. To book, visit www.norwichmedievalmysteryplays.co.uk or call 0333 666 33666.

Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays are funded by Arts Council England, Anguish’s Educational Foundation, and Heritage Lottery Fund, and supported by Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle.

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