The Mystery Plays News
News Update May2012
Welcome to the May newsletter for the Gloucester Mystery Plays & A Company
So what has happened since the last newsletter ………
To engage ALL the performing arts groups into the GMP project and the
Gloucestershire Theatre project.
I have started to visit those theatre groups who could not make our GDA-GTA
meeting on the 29th April, in an effort to talk to all of the 88 groups in the county
and seek their future support and membership of the new Gloucestershire
Theatre project and make them aware of the GMP project. Please do let me
know when your next meeting is and I will come along, it only takes 20 to 30
minutes and I am out of your way.
Groups Visited this month:
Both groups have pledged their support for the GTA.
Davies & Partners
Final meetings have taken place with our two professional sponsors in the
creation of the new Ltd Company by guarantee created for the GDA/GTA to be
able to operate correctly going forward and to be tax efficient in managing and
dealing with what we hope will be the much larger Gloucestershire Theatre
organisation. So retaining as much money as possible to reinvest into the Arts
Hunt for the GMP Wagon brings results at last.
After a lot of searching and countless
phone calls Nikki White (GDA,
Phoenix, and Rococo) has tracked
down a wagon that if it was 6 feet
longer would be perfect. So we are
looking to see if we can add two
detachable steps and platforms at
each end, which will give
us a workable performance space.
We will keep looking (won't we) as we
want to keep our options open, but
it’s a great start.
YORK CONFIRM SUPPORT
Tony Wright from the York Mystery Players has
confirmed that they are happy for us to have the use
of their Crucifixion Wagon and a possible second
Wagon for our Gloucester Medieval Mystery Play
festival in 2013. There is a real sense of Mystery Play
Community building around this event. I hope ALL
non professional theatre group members will want to
be part of this and the new Gloucestershire Theatre
Company community, check out the temporary web
site at www.glostheatre.co.uk Gloucester University IT
team are working on the full site which we hope to
have up in some workable format by the end of June
Gloucester College design students are also working
on a new logo. And we are hoping to involve the Events Management students
as the development of the festival weekend continues. Thank you to GC and GU
for your support. And to the students we have met for there input so far.
Additions to Crew
I am delighted that the following have stepped up to join the GMP
Wardrobe Mistress: Yvonne Roe (Phoenix, Rococo Players)
We are still looking for Props (do have a possible candidate to be
We still require ‘Prompts’ (possibly 2 or 3) so if you are interested please do get
in touch .
Gloucester Mystery Play Festival Weekend 15th & 16th June 2013
An inaugural meeting has taken place between Gloucestershire Theatre, City
Council and the Management and Events team at the Guildhall. A working
committee will now be formed to start to bring together the City info-structure
required to stage the weekend festival and the combined marketing and
promotion to get the maximum exposure throughout Gloucestershire and the
The Tourist Information Office and the Guildhall will act as Box Office for the
Gloucester Cathedral shows in November 2012 and April 2013. Tickets will be
available from early May.
As you know we have the full support of the City Council for the GMP including
a large financial sponsorship and the team is now coming together that will
work closely on every aspect of the project. At a meeting at the Folk Museum,
Gloucester and Worcester Cathedral, Guildhall, Gloucester Theatre and
Severnprint staff met to work the branding that will create the corporate image
for this now major City wide project. Severnprint will now work on the overall
look and submit artwork for consideration.
We are working with Worcester to create a unified
artwork for all posters, flyers and advertising artwork.
The programmes for the Cathedral event will be
reversible and work for both Gloucester and Worcester Cathedrals.
Gloucester Mystery Play production process starts
Read through and Auditions called for the Advent Cycle in November 2012
The Scripts are to have their inaugural read through at the
Parliament Rooms at Gloucester Cathedral on
Monday 7th May at 7.30pm & Sunday 13th May at 2.30pm.
Auditions will then take place at the same location on:
Tuesday 15th May at 7.30pm & Sunday 20th May at 2.30pm.
The Advent Cycle will include the following plays.
The fall of Lucifer / The Creation of the World and the fall of Man / Cain and Abel
Abraham and Isaac / Noah / The Parliament of Heaven and Annunciation,/
Joseph's Doubt / The Visit to Elizabeth / The Nativity / The Shepherds / The
Magi The Purification / The Slaughter of the Innocents / The Death of Herod.
Read throughs and auditions are open to ALL. It has taken an immense amount
of effort to reach this point, Rachel Murray the scripts author and the GMP
Artistic Director has been working on the scripts for the past six months so
please do now show your support and come and read for the first time the new
Gloucester Mystery Play scripts. These are the only Mystery Play scripts to be
updated into modern English that we know of. It’s a wonderful achievement.
A Company of Friends forms
The theatre group that will be created to perform the plays will do so under the
Company of Friends banner. The firstname.lastname@example.org address and site has been
cleaned of all its old Rococo production data and will now be rebuilt with all the
contact details of the cast and crews for each production. All Directors will have
access to this site and it is through this site that they will communicate with
their teams and the other members of the ACOF family. This will keep the traffic
specific to the performance and not mixed in with the production and promotion
matters being handled by the email@example.com address.
The Seating Plans for Gloucester and Worcester
The performances will be staged in the round at
both Cathedrals giving the audiences the most
up close and personal experience as possible.
This will prove to be an exciting challenge for
both Directors and actors alike. The plan shown
is of Worcester Cathedral. The Gloucester plan
will follow in next month's newsletter
Tickets go on sale for Gloucester & Worcester Cathedral productions.
Tickets will go on sale in the first week of May and will
be available from the Gloucester Guildhall, Gloucester Tourist Information
Office locations and through the Cathedral shop. They will also be available by
email from firstname.lastname@example.org until the new web site goes live. Ticket price
at Gloucester will be £12 all seats.
Tickets for Worcester are available from
Worcester Live see link:
http://www.worcesterlive.co.uk/ ticket prices at
Worcester will be £12.50 & £10
Rick Wakeman Myths and Legends of King Author 15th June 2013.
At a recent meeting terms have now been agreed with Rick’s
management and the staging and production format agreed.
There has been some really exciting developments on the
production side of things which if secured could make this a
very exciting and a ‘UK FIRST’ and even more unique event,
and may well go ‘Global’ via Ricks new web TV channel ‘Rick
TV’. We have also agreed merchandising possibilities that will
further benefit the charities in a very big way! I can only thank
Rick and Tom his manager for being so supportive. A Sunday
concert on the 16th is being looked into with multiple artists as
a pure ‘party’ charity event to mark the end of the GMP 2013 Festival. Watch
this space for more detail as things develop.
BBC Radio Gloucestershire Richard Atkins Sunday show.
We continue to have the full support of BBC Radio Gloucestershire with regular
interviews being aired. Here is the link to the latest 5 minute interview given by
Rachel Murray Script writer and Artistic Director for the GMP on Sunday to
launch the read through and auditions. My thanks to Andrew Vincent for his
assistance with this:
Please go into the program 1.23min to locate the interview.
Richard will be interviewing Robert Perry our Musical Director and composer in
May, and Rick Wakeman in June and we will include more information as we
Gloucestershire Drama Association EGM.
At an EGM held on Sunday 29th the current member groups of the GDA voted to
accept the recommendation made by the GDA committee:
To dissolve the current trust held GDA organisation and to create a new Ltd
Company under guarantee to replace it while maintaining its charitable status.
To widen the membership to include ALL performing Arts Groups including
music, dance, youth and Arts Schools, Colleges and Universities.
To change the name of the organisation so that it better represents this wider
We now have the mandate and support of the membership so we can start the
process of forming the new company and building the www.glosthreatre.co.uk
community and website which will act as the focal point and conduit through
which we hope ALL groups can communicate, share information and promote
their productions to the wider arts community. The new company will now be fit
for purpose and operate correctly as the focal body, and develop it's offering to
it's membership offering real and tangible benefits to those Groups that engage
in the community we hope to build. More information to follow in next months
The GDA membership then voted on the second recommendation for a change
of name and branding. The new company will be formed under the new name of
The Gloucestershire Theatre Association Ltd (GTA).
The new website will be created as a by-product of The Gloucester Mystery Play
Festival and will capture all the information on cast, crew, promotion, PR,
contacts and audiences and will be the legacy left for the Arts community after
the GMPs are all over.
Thank you to all existing GDA member Groups for your support with this
change and I hope that with the creation of the new GTA we can encourage
many more theatre, dance and music groups to now take an active part in the
creation and development of the new Gloucestershire Theatre Association.
Press and Advert release
Gloucester Mystery Plays
How would you like to be a part of the Greatest Story Ever Told?
Later this year Gloucester will stage the Medieval Mystery Plays - telling some
of the Bible stories from Genesis to Judgement Day.
It will be a massive event, bringing together nearly 90 theatre groups across the
county with Gloucester Cathedral hosting the productions in November 2012
and April 2013. They will also be played out on stages and wagons throughout
the city in June 2013.
The Medieval Mystery plays are thought to be the origin of
modern theatre as we recognise it throughout Europe.
The first Cycle, in November, will tell the story of the Fall
of Lucifer through to the Death of Herod. The second
cycle, in April next year, will tell the story of the life of
Christ through to the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and
And now the search is on for people to take part.
Artistic Director, Rachel Murray, is looking for about 50
people to play the key roles. She says;
'This is an opportunity to be involved in one of the most exciting theatre
projects in the country. Not only will you be playing a classic role that could
be God, Joseph, Herod, Mary or many others but you will be a part of a ground-
breaking production, playing at two major Cathedrals Gloucester and Worcester
- and spanning 3 eras, first century Palestine, Medieval Britain and the 21st
Rachel has translated the original text in to modern English. Take King Herod,
for example. His opening lines are;
'As a Royal Lord and King, no one compares to me.
I'm just the greatest ruler there could ever be.
There just isn't anyone, anywhere, you can see
As handsome or as admirable, I'm sure you'll agree.
In beauty and in bravery I always take first prize
If someone disagrees with me I cut them down to size.
I could send the Devil back to Hell, just like that
For I am King of Heaven and Earth, and that's a fact.'
Later, however, the audience will see the true evil and shockingly psychopathic
nature of Herod as he casually orders the slaughter of the children in his search
for the infant Jesus.
The key role will be that of Jesus and Rachel admits she's already spotted a few
'On a couple of occasions I've seen a man in the pub and approached him
saying, "You look like Jesus, can I have your phone number?" And I do have a
couple of phone numbers for Jesuses. But in all seriousness, we do need to
find a good Christ - a soulful-looking man in his 30s, slim, can act and who
wouldn't mind getting a bit hairy and being Crucified.'
Next Spring a Medieval Festival will be created around the plays, bringing
period performers such as minstrels, jousting, archery, street theatre and battle
re-enactments. The long-term vision is that this will become a regular event
every three years in conjunction with the already established Three Choirs
This event has already seized imaginations across the county and across the
Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucester City Council, the Everyman
Theatre, the Arts Council and local businesses are all supporting th
The BBC has expressed an interest in covering the Cycle.
Local composer, Robert Perry, is writing a suite of music for the Cycle.
Producer, Phil McCormick, says, 'This is a unique opportunity to bring
something BIG to the city, to raise its profile, create a sense of community and
pride and to bring together organisations and individuals from across
Gloucestershire to make this happen. We hope the Festival will bring in up to a
quarter-of-a-million visitors to Gloucester over that March weekend.'
Rachel Murray adds, 'When people look back they'll be able to say "I was part of
it. It was one of the best things I have ever done. The plays, the performances,
the audience reaction, the camaraderie, the incredible venues." It will be a
unique event and to be a part of it will be a real privilege.'
There will be read-throughs on Monday 7th May at 7.30pm and Sunday 13th May
at 2.30pm - both at the Parliament Rooms at Gloucester Cathedral.
The auditions will take place at The Parliament Rooms on Tuesday 15th May at
7.30pm and Sunday 20th May at 2.30pm.
For further information contact Phil McCormick on 07786 177501 or e-mail
So another quiet month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope you can start to appreciate the effort that is going into this project by an
ever increasing amount of people, please therefore make sure that you pass this
information around your full membership so that they are kept fully informed so
that they can be part of it.