The artistic director of the next cycle of the Chester Mystery Plays has been appointed, three years before the production will take place.
Peter Leslie Wild is returning to direct the 2018 production of the five-yearly medieval cycle following his critical success with the 2013 plays.
Chairman Jo Sykes, who was recently awarded a British Empire Medal in recognition of her contribution to drama in Chester, said: " I am delighted that Peter Leslie Wild is returning to direct the 2018 production of the Chester Mystery Plays.
“His 2013 production will live long in the memory as the first to take place in the nave of Chester Cathedral – it was critically acclaimed and loved by the 11,000 people who saw it.
“I am also thrilled that we will again be producing these wonderful plays inside the cathedral – the cathedral is, of course, the plays’ spiritual home and it was inspirational to see them there.”
Since directing the plays in 2013, Peter’s collaboration with 2013 script writer Stephanie Dale has continued with Passion: Line of Departure, a community play in the south west and Theatre in the Quarter’s Christmas 2014 production of Alice at St Mary’s Centre.
He is currently working for the BBC producing the daytime drama, Doctors.
“I was honoured to be asked to direct the Chester Mystery Plays again,” said Peter. “It’s no exaggeration to say that they form one of the most important texts in British drama and it’s a real privilege to work on them.
“I also loved working with the huge team of volunteer performers in Chester – their talent, commitment and energy never ceased to amaze me”.
And Peter says he won’t be reproducing the plays in the same way: “I would be looking to include some plays we weren’t able to use last time, like Cain and Abel or Abraham and Isaac, and therefore we would have to drop a couple from 2013.
“I will also look at how we could stage the plays differently – the cathedral is such a magnificent backdrop and it would be great to make it even more prominent in 2018.”
The 2018 production of the Chester Mystery Plays will be performed at Chester Cathedral.