The Chester Mystery Plays Diaries (pt 6)

The Chester Mystery Plays team has kindly agreed that one of its players, Paul Williams, can write a diary for this blog. Here’s the sixth instalment.

Wednesday 12th June, Plays 1-3

Everything is gearing up now for the technical rehearsals so it is all hands on deck. How apt then that I got to play one of Noah’s sons!! It was hard for me to get back on stage in this role because it comes hot on the back of me playing a reveller, chanting like a football hooligan and flirting with Lightbourne. It’s probably not wise for me to flirt with Lucifer’s woman but I guess you can’t get any worse when you’re playing Judas. If I can betray Christ I might as well do the same to the devil.

Thursday 13th June

I forgot to keep a note in my diary of what we did on this night and now I can’t remember. Everything is blending into one and I’m losing all sense of personality. I’m going to a corner to rock myself to sleep.

Friday 14th June, Scene change rehearsal

Tonight was a rehearsal where we top and tailed each play to see whether we had got the changes between them running smoothly. There was plenty of work to be done but eventually we got there after much stopping and starting. The process is quite difficult as we are not on set yet, so a lot of imagining is still going on. I am at one point holding a piece of imaginary bacon. I am unsure whether I want a real one or whether I prefer to keep up this charade.

Saturday 15th June, scene changes, tightening up

We managed to get through the rest of the show regarding the scene changes and then worked out the bits we needed to polish. On finishing up we went down to the Cathedral to see the set. Wow. It’s absolutely amazing, I was blown away by the sheer scope of it. Members of the cast ran through the crucifixion, which seems pretty nerve racking since Jesus is suspended high in the air and being pulled up by ropes. I hope it goes alright, but the guys seem to know what they’re doing. It’s an interesting point but if Jesus takes one step wrong whilst mounting the cross he will actually be crucified facing the crucifix. If this happens on the night there will no doubt be many a bible scholar scratching their heads wondering why we have allowed such a fallacy to take place, Believe me, it will be an accident, but it will be interesting to see if the other victims of crucifixion turn their backs in order to maintain some kind of continuity.

Sunday 16th June, Second half rehearsal

Our last run through before the tech and it was fantastic. The chat we had at the end of today’s session gave us all great confidence that we have something of real quality. During the scene where we lie down in preparation for the last judgement I banged my head on the floor and felt like a right idiot. Luckily no-one witnessed this rather embarrassing episode, but thinking about how much pain I was in made me forget where I was supposed to be on stage. When I realised my faux pas I quickly tried to correct the incident by running to my position and ran straight into a pillar. Result: Medieval Architecture 1; Williams O.


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