Jane Dawson from Chester Mystery Plays introduces a new weekly column about the 2013 production

With 153 days to go to the first performance of the 2013 production of the Chester Mystery Plays, the journey kicked off with a bang at the weekend.

The 200-strong company met for the first time on Sunday at St Mary’s Centre. Artistic director Peter Leslie Wild talked about his vision for the production while writer Stephanie Dale, expanded on her development of the newly commissioned script. Her starting point was the wonderful poetry and lyricism of the original medieval mystery play texts.

Designer Judith Croft presented her exquisitely detailed set model, which will transform the magnificent setting of the cathedral nave into a wondrous theatre space. The rapt audience was sworn to secrecy on some points, but were genuinely impressed.

The company was also treated to some of composer Matt Baker’s new music for the production performed by some of the mystery plays’ chorus.

Rehearsals for this Diamond Jubilee production start in earnest on Saturday. And if last Sunday was anything to go by, we are going to see an astounding production this year – unlike any other.