Oct 13 2011 by Jo Henwood, Chester Chronicle
AN INTERNATIONAL orchestra was in Chester adding a new dimension to the city’s medieval Chester Mystery Plays.
Manchester Camerata worked with the community on a musical theatre project as part of the Sharing the Mystery programme, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The 30 participants wrote the narrative and lyrics for Ararat Road, with creative director Anna Jewitt and composer/musician Andy Smith. The piece was based on Noah’s Flood and inspired by Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde.
Camerata’s head of learning and participation Nick Ponsillo said: “
“There was a real mix of ages and abilities - some had never done anything like this before - but everyone brought something very special to the project.”
Anna said: “The participants came up with all the ideas and were keen to develop a piece that showed how fragmented communities can come together through small acts of kindness and generosity.”
Katherine Hopwood, who took part in the project with husband Bruce and their twin sons, said: “It’s great to do music and drama as a family, and to have fun at the same time. Peter and Alasdair really threw themselves into it.”
Richard Naylor, who has acted in the Chester Mystery Plays before said: “It’s a brilliant way to kick off the journey to the next production. It’s been a different way of working and has really helped bring a new perspective.”
The next project in the Sharing the Mystery programme is a free family event at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum on October 26, with music from composer and musical director Matt Baker. See www.grosvenormuseum.co.uk for details, or ring 01244 402033.
For information on Chester Mystery Plays visit www.chestermysteryplays.com or email email@example.com.
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