Royal Exchange Associate Artist Chris Thorpe and Royal Court Associate Director Sam Pritchard have journeyed through towns and villages across England to create The Mysteries, a brand new interpretation of the travelling medieval mystery plays.
The mystery plays of the Middle Ages celebrated stories from the Old and New Testaments and were usually performed in streets, marketplaces and on travelling wagons. Often performed by local people, the production of these plays was integral in generating a sense of community. In developing The Mysteries, Chris Thorpe has moved away from the biblical subject matter but has retained the sense of movement and community associated with the original productions.
The Mysteries is essentially six brilliant new plays, each set in a different place in England. This exciting set of plays explores the places and landscapes that surround us, and how we live with each other. From a sheep farm in the West Lakes – spiralling around the North of England – through Teesdale and a Tourist Information Centre in Whitby; on to Boston in Lincolnshire, Stoke-on-Trent and then back up to Manchester.
Before heading to the Royal Exchange, each of the six parts of The Mysteries will premiere in the place it was written. During its run at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, there will be two opportunities to watch the full six plays – Sunday 4th November and Sunday 11th November. Other performance dates at the Royal Exchange will show the Manchester play alongside a play from one of the other places.