The show must go on! Christmas drama in Wapping

Two bits of Christmas theatre coming up in the local area, both in local churches St George-in-the-East on The Highway and St Patrick’s on Green Bank.

The players of St Peter present Medieval Mysteries from the Chester Plays

Mystery plays are a wonderful aspect of the British religious and dramatic folk canon and for more than sixty years, the Players of St Peter have been performing English medieval drama in London, and are unique in offering annual productions from the main English mystery cycles. According to the Players of St Peter:

The Mystery Plays are part of an English tradition of festival playmaking that goes back to the early Middle Ages. Originally developed from special parts of certain church services – such as the arrival of the Three Kings, or the Shepherds finding Christ – the plays grew in elaboration when they were taken over by townsfolk as street theatre. Each play presented a scene from the Bible (from Creation to Doomsday via Noah’s Flood and the Nativity) in an easily understandable form at a time when few people were able to read.

Five hundred years ago the plays were often staged by the local craft guilds, or “mysteries”, each guild taking responsibility for a particular play, which its members performed in the open on a pageant wagon that would have been wheeled around the town over at least one full day, with a fresh performance in each new location. (Just how fresh, of course, might have been debatable by mid-afternoon.)

This year is the Chester cycle with the following scenes:

  • Prologue (Barbers, Tanners and Drapers)
  • The Salutation and Birth, including Octavian’s Court (Wrights)
  • The Shepherds (Painters)
  • The Three Kings from the East (Vintners)
  • The Offering of the Kings (Mercers)

Having seen the stage they’ve built it looks like they take this acting malarky seriously.

There are two performances a night at 6.30 (£7.50) and 8.30 pm (£6, £4 for students) Monday 2nd to Friday 6th December. See their website for details. Refreshments available.

St Patrick’s present Aladdin

The parish is performing Aladdin; a pantomime for all the family this Christmas. There will be a matinee performance on Sun 15th Dec at 12.30pm, and two evening performances on Mon 16th Dec & Tue 17th Dec at 7.15pm.

Tickets are priced at £5 per adult, £2.50 per child.

Under 4’s go free.
Telephone 02074812202 or call at the Presbytery in Dundee Street.

I think there’s a poster in Hussey’s with additional details.

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