IT has been five years since the last production and six months since rehearsals began but the 2013 Chester Mystery Plays will open at Chester Cathedral tomorrow night.
Directed by Peter Leslie Wild, the cast numbers more than 300 local actors and includes schoolchildren, a choir and musicians under the watchful eye of composer Matt Baker.
Peter said: “As we approach the first night, it is a joy to watch this huge company’s hard work coming to fruition.
“All the elements are coming together – lighting, music, sound, costumes, and of course acting – to create what will be a powerful spectacle.
“I am so proud of everyone who has contributed.”
Chairman of the Chester Mystery Plays company Jo Sykes added: “After four and a half years of planning here we are, once again, ready to perform another cycle of the Chester Mystery Plays.
“This time, however, a very different production with a new script by Stephanie Dale condensing the plays into one night.
“Stephanie has retained much of the medieval and language, humour and quirky flavour of the original texts at the same time as creating a modern production for a 21st century audience.
“The production is spectacular, lively and yet at the same time incredibly moving and I commend it to you as evidence of what can be done by a large community cast of volunteers who have dedicated the last six months of their lives to this incredible project.
“We really do believe that what we do every five years plays an invaluable part in the heritage and cultural life of our beautiful city of Chester.”
The Chester Mystery Plays were originally written by Benedictine monks at the Abbey of St Werburgh (now Chester Cathedral) in the 14th century.
The 2013 production of the Chester Mystery Plays will be in the nave of Chester Cathedral until July 13. Tickets are available from 01244 500959 or from www.chestermysteryplays.com.