PREPARE to laugh, cry and sing-a-long out loud to the hugely popular play Noah’s Flood, which will be performed outdoors in Chester’s Amphitheatre as part of MBNA Chestival by co-producers Chester Mystery Plays and Theatre in the Quarter from June 22-24.
Involving up to 200 individuals who will make up cast members, the choir and the production team, Noah’s Flood will appeal to an audience of all ages because of its wicked sense of humour and the energy and vibrancy of the actors and set.
It has taken months of planning and hours of rehearsing to create what may be the last time this version of Noah’s Flood is performed.
Composer and music director Matt Baker said: “The Mystery Plays are always written and performed in a way that is relevant to the audience at the time.
“The humour will make a nod to modern references as will the language and songs in the play. As times changes again, so will the Mystery Plays and the references we use now may not apply in years to come, which is why every version of a Mystery Play is unique.”
The audience will particularly find the relationship between Noah and his wife funny as they bicker between each other because she doesn’t believe that the flood is coming.
There will be nods and winks at the audience by Noah himself as he shares his exasperation to his wife’s attitude and stubbornness to not get into the ark.
The story of Noah and the Great Flood was traditionally acted by the Drawers of the Dee – otherwise known as the water carriers – back in the 14th century. Yet with the Mystery Plays’ clever updating the same play, which is now more than 2,000 years old, still appeals to a 21st century audience.
A new and exciting element for this year’s performance of Noah’s Flood is a cinema screen.
Project manager Jane Dawson said: “The film, which has been commissioned from the University of Chester’s Harlequin Project, is a fantastic opportunity for us to enhance the performance of this year’s play.
“It will show the audience the play from different angles and we can create a larger than life God character as he talks down to Noah from above. The flood scene will also appear on screen and will show the raging force of the water as it crashes down on the ark.”
Noah’s Flood is a fantastic opportunity for families to enjoy a theatre performance as well as a play that has become part of Chester’s heritage in the unique setting of Chester’s Amphitheatre.
Families are encouraged to bring along a picnic so they can make the most of the outdoor theatre and the quintessential English setting.
Chester Festivals’ director, Tracy Lynn added: “Noah’s Flood was hugely popular when it last ran as part of MBNA Chestival a couple of years ago and we are so pleased that the Mystery Plays are performing it again.
“Last time so many families commented on what a wonderful and uplifting experience it was, and I for one can’t wait to be there.”
The play will be performed at 6pm on Friday, June 22 and 1pm and 4pm on Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24. The play will be 30 minutes long and will be free to attend. For further details visit www.chesterfestivals.co.uk.