Would you like to take part in a medieval drama day? Directors, actors, costume and prop makers, and musicians wanted!
By popular demand we’re hoping to stage another mini ‘Oxford cycle’ of medieval mystery plays in the Spring: 25 April 2020 at St Edmund Hall. We are looking to recruit groups from Oxford and elsewhere to take on individual plays. We’re proposing a list of fifteen plays (from a variety of medieval cycles), which give an outline of the whole biblical story. But, like last year, we are open to groups bringing plays from other cycles or in other languages – or, as last year’s Last Judgement, re-writing one to suit the times! Creativity definitely encouraged: last year’s modern dress Annunciation and the manuscript projections for Noah were amongst the highlights!
This is the list of plays we’re suggesting:
1. Creation Towneley
2. Fall of Adam and Eve York
3. Killing of Abel Towneley
4. Noah Towneley
5. Abraham Brome MS
6. Annunciation Towneley
7. Visitation (Salutation of Elizabeth) Towneley
(the Visitation is very short, and can be added to the Annunciation)
8. 2nd Shepherds’ Towneley
9. Magi Towneley
10. Herod the Great Towneley
11. Pilate’s Wife York
12. Crucifixion York
13. Harrowing of Hell (Deliverance of Souls) Towneley
14. Resurrection York
15. Judgement Towneley
These require a very varied number of actors – from 2 to about 10 – and a wide variety of props and ingenuity in setting. We’re using the plays in modern spelling as found in:
The Wakefield Mystery Plays, ed. Martial Rose (London, 1961)
York Mystery Plays: A Selection in Modern Spelling, ed. R. Beadle and P. King, World’s Classics (Oxford, 1984)
Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays, ed. A. C. Cawley, Everyman’s University Library (London, 1956; repr. 1974)
These editions have textual and production notes.
The play date is the Saturday before 1st week in Trinity term: 25th April. Last year, God began Creation at noon, and we ran through till around 5pm, outdoors (though we can provide indoor space for those who might need it), moving around the various quads and spaces of the college and the former church of St Peter in the East, now the college library (map of college https://www.seh.ox.ac.uk/discover/explore-teddy-hall/maps).
If you’d like to take on a play, or have a copy of a text, please contact:
Last year we had around 100 performers and 300 audience – even on a day which threatened rain…and the sun came out for the Resurrection. The college bar will be open for tea, coffee, and buns. We’re hoping for more incidental music and medieval ambience this time around. Please join in, and make this year even more memorable than the last.