adapted by Mike Kenny.

York Museum Gardens To 27 August 2012.
Tue-Su 7.30pm Mat Sat & 27 Aug 2.30pm.
Audio-described 23 Aug, 25 Aug 2.30pm & 7.30pm.
BSL Signed 22 Aug.
Captioned 25 Aug 2.30pm.
Runs 3hr 35min One interval.

TICKETS: 01904 623568/
Review: Timothy Ramsden 15 August.

Grand-scale epic storytelling.
Since York’s medieval Mystery Plays were resurrected in the1950s they’ve been staged in the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey, carted round the streets as originally intended and even crushed within the Theatre Royal’s walls.

It’s back to the Abbey this year, with a raised stage built over the ground, allowing trapdoors to and from Hell in this theatrically sophisticated staging – while awnings over the banks of seating round three sides of the acting space protect ticket-buyers against British summer climes.

Directors Paul Burbridge and Damian Cruden, of co-producing Riding Lights Theatre and York Theatre Royal, have assembled two mass community casts, filling the large stage, alongside professional actors Ferdinand Kingsley and Graeme Hawley. Kingsley’s doubling of God and Jesus has theological point, and fits the interpretation of a God less self-certain than the script suggests. Seen first alone, chalking-out patterns, he clearly wants to create something, starting with a rainbow of Angels before a garden with Adam and Eve.

They’re played by young actors till persuaded to disobedience. At which innocence ends and adults take over, their quarrel like people in a failing marriage. From here events skate (a full York cycle would take a full day) to the Flood. Noah’s Ark gives little chance for his construction skills, and no sooner has the Flood subsided than humanity’s second wave goes more wildly wrong than the first, erupting into violence and war.

The focus is on God’s ultimate solution – becoming human and dying for mankind. There are thematically significant stage images – the Holy Family in the centre while Herod parades round the edges on carpets; the mass bereavement of mothers as Joseph and his family plod humbly to Egypt. Later, the three crosses stand stark against the sky, while Christopher Madin’s music, often setting the Mass, and using repeated phrases, makes its point as the minor key accompanying Jesus’ Deposition from he Cross, changes to a happier harmony.

There’s a fine clatter as the huge bars holding people prisoners in Hell clatter to the floor during the Harrowing, while the brief musical mass ending registers the final triumph as God departs to the heavenly sphere. In all, a rare experience.

God/Jesus: Ferdinand Kingsley.
Satan: Graeme Hawley.
Shepherd 1/Andrew: Jon Adams.
Joseph: Rob Ainsley.
Mother Mary/Angel: Jane Allanach.
Herod’s Messenger/Soldier: Alan Avery.
Young Jesus: Michael Barker.
Angel/Soldier: Trevor Barker.
Garden Angel: Gary Bateson.
Herod Soldier I/Caiaphas Soldier 3: Norman Bell.
Angel/Caiaphas: Phil Bellwood.
Mother/Uriel: Emma Blackstone.
Malcus/Herod Soldier 3: Lee Boxall.
Workman 2: Andrew Bradley.
Shepherd 2: Shan Brand.
Angel: Rose Bridgewater.
Garden Angel: Beatrix Brown.
Gabriel: Lucy Campbell.
Garden Angel: Patricia Castle.
Citizen 5/Mary 3: Emma Clark.
Thaddeus: Paula Clark.
Mother/Angel: Jane Clarkson.
Soldier: Oliver Clive.
Angel Dancer: Amelia Cook.
Elizabeth: Ged Cooper.
Garden Angel: Diane Craven.
Doctor 2: Anna Crawford.
Blind Man: Robert Cummings.
Pilate Centurion: Chris Davey.
Angel/Mother: Annemarieke De Bruin.
Daughter I: Katy Devine.
Young Eve: Madeleine Drury.
Raphael: Jenna Drury.
Bartholomew: Steph Edgar.
Angel/Mother: Elizabeth Elsworth.
Soldier: Nick Evans.
Councillor I/Soldier: Nigel Evans.
Angel: Jack Feasby.
Angel Dancer: Jacky Frere.
Soldier: Peter Gay.
Angel Dancer: Louise Gilpin.
Citizen 3/Citizen 4/Barabbas: Liam Godfrey.
Devil Dancer: Gemma Gorner.
Mother/Angel: Clare Halliday.
Matthew: Richard Hampton.
Mother/Angel: Sally Harding.
Noah’s Son I/Soldier: Dan Hardy.
Mother: Morgan Heraty.
Judas: Jamie Higgins.
Queen 2: Margaret Hillier.
Devil 3 Dancer: Grace Hobson.
Young Adam: Luke Hobson.
Michael: Nicolette Hobson.
Angel: Alison Holdsworth.
Angel: Katy Holiday.
Mother/Angel: Emily Holt-Roberts.
Good Soul/Zacheus: Joe Hopper.
Noah’s Son 2/Person 2/Angel: Connor Houlton.
Beelzebub: Liberty Hutchinson.
Pilate: Tom Jackson.
Lame Woman: Linda Jackson.
Isaiah: Andrew Jenkinson.
Soldier: Sam Jenkyns.
Noah/Angel: Nick Jones.
Angel: Pat Kennedy.
Soldier: Robert Leach.
Angel: Jane Leach.
Moses: William Lee.
Caiaphas: Michael Lightfoot.
Philip: Sheelagh Loftus.
Soldier: Matt Lomas.
Angel: Bernard Lyne.
John Baptist: Dave Malinsky.
Pilate Soldier 3: Lee Maloney.
Noah’s Son 3/Pilate Soldier 2/Angel: Matt Marks.
Thief on Left: Paul Mason.
Angel: Alexandra Mather.
Mother/Angel: Harriet Mayne.
James: Helen McLean.
Workman 4: Clancy McMullan.
Citizen 2: Edith Milan.
Caiaphas Soldier: Andrew Millar.
Mother/Angel: Angie Millard.
Soldier/Angel: Nick Moon.
Ribald: Fionnuala Morris.
Herod: Rory Mulythill.
Angel: Mariela Munos dell Valle.
Annas: Beryl Nairn.
Procula: Edidh Newton.
James: Erika Noda.
Thief on Right: Tilda O’Grady.
Herod Soldier 2/Caiaphas Soldier 2: Simon O’Keefe.
Mary: Lydia Onyett.
Mary Magdalene/Angel: Fiona Peck.
Daughter 3: Julie Pegg.
Mother/Angel Dancer: Freya Pratt.
Mother/Angel: Val Punt.
Workman 3: Andy Quarrell.
Angel: Jo Reilly.
Angel: Lucinda Rennison.
Pilate Soldier 4: Harry Revell.
Shepherd 3: Harriet Riley-Ennis.
Angel: Bethany Ring.
Mother/Angel: Claire Robinson.
Peter: John Roden
Angel: Margaret Rogers.
Person 4: Victoria Rooke.
Thomas: David Rounce.
Rebecca: Sandra Rowan.
Mother Noah/Citizen 6: Rosy Rowley.
Angel: Rosemary Rowds Tree.
King: Robin Sanger.
Poor Man: Jamie Searle.
Person 3: Felicity Semple.
Devil 2 Dancer: Alice Simpson.
Beadle: Maggie Smales.
Eve: Anna Soden.
Bad Soul/Woman at Denial: Liz Somers.
Angel: Julie Speedie.
Pilate Guard: Alicia Stabler.
Person 1: Noel Stabler.
Daughter 2: Lizzie Tait.
Doctor 1: Simon Taylor.
Citizen 1: Linda Terry.
Pilate Soldier 1: Becky Tunstall.
Workman 1: Mike Tyler.
Adam/Soldier: Nathan Unthank.
Mother/Angel: Pragya Vohra.
Angel 3 Dancer/Mother: Anjali Vyas-Brannick.
Mother/Devil Dancer: Lucy Walker.
Councillor 2: Eileen Walters.
Queen I: Libby Wattis.
John: Matthew Wignall.
Simon: Natalia Wilson.
Soldier: Robert Wollny.

Ensemble: Alex Auld, George Avery, Karis Barlow, Emma Berridge, Elliott Blackstone, Vikki Boddye, Will Brigham, Saskia Chapman Gibbs, Anna Clarke, Julia Cormack, Anais Crane, Alizee Currell, Lewis Egdell, Laurence Eyre, Miriam Eyre, Kris Grummitt, Keren Hazlehurst, Anevay Heaven, Chrissie Heaven, Kate Hewson, Jasmine Hugo. Jessica Hugo, Anne Jones, Debbie Jones, Helen Kettleboro, Colin Lea, Valerie Lee, Kathleen Livings, Judith Loomes, Neil Mayhew, Laura McCarthy, Brian McCusker, Simon McGhee, Claire Morley, Jackie O’Keefe, George Orpe, Liam Precious, Phoebe Riley-Ennis, Sam Robinson, Elizabeth Roden, Keith Rowan, Daisy Rowley, Imogen Rowley, Jemima Rowley, Scarlett Rowley, Emilia Sellers, Paige Sellers, Hannah Selvaratnam, Daniel Simpson, Samantha Stoney, Grace Teer, Julie Thorpe, Sophie Tyler, Abel Vernon-Rees, Nicola Walden/Evelyn Allison, Sara Andrew, Douglas Bacon, Catherine Brophy, Isaac Burland, Rebekah Burland, Susan Clarkson, Rachael Clayton, William Coats, Bethany Cunnington, Jennifer Dixon, Jennifer Durham, Sue Elliott-Lyall, Etienne Elwood, Simon Ellwood, Annie Emmott, Imogen Emmott, Olivia Emmott, Molly Goodwin, Carole Green, Mongomery Grenyer, Pam Guanaria, Helen Hale, Yvonne Hall, Naomi Halliday, Holly Hardstaff, Amy Helliwell, Karen Hill, Lissy Hopwood-Robinson, Jordan Hutchinson, Sara Hutchinson, Sarah Judge, Dawn Kennett, Rosie Latimer, Thomas Lister, Imogen Little, Elizabeth Mae-Starbuck, Alice Mapplebeck, Nikki Merrett, Rosie Mitchell, Hazuki Mogan, Minori Mogan, Jenny Moulds, Kerensa Murray, Princess Ndlazulwana, Kathy Ransome, Shelly Reed, Julie Rickaby, Frances Rigby, Olivia Robinson, Owen Sangles, Thomas Sheen, Richard Sheils, Naomi Simon, Jill Sissons, Christine Skinner, Matilda Smith, Rosie Starkey, Oliver Steane, Rhiannon Thrush, David Turner, Robyn Wade, Sandra Wadley, Sophie Walmsley, Alison Webb, Andy Williams, John Worrallo, Judith Wright, Chloe Wright, Charlotte Young.

Directors: Paul Burbridge, Damian Cruden.
Designer: Sean Cavanagh.
Lighting: Richard G Jones.
Sound: Clement Rawling.
Composer/Musical Director: Christopher Madin.
Dance Director: Lesley Ann Eden.
Costume/Assistant designer: Anna Gooch.
Fight director: Liam Evans-Ford.
Young persons’ directors: Amos Jacob, Kate Plumb.
Associate directors: Katie Posner, Alexander Wright.

2012-08-20 15:48:32

ReviewsGate Copyright Protection