Modern Mysteries: Contemporary Productions of Medieval English Cycle Dramas

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DS Brewer, 2007 - Performing Arts - 192 pages
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The turn of the last millennium saw a sudden flourishing in the revival of the medieval mystery plays, with a number of different productions being staged across the country and further afield. But why were they staged? What features of the plays attracted the modern-day director? What can the mystery plays offer today's producers, directors, participants and audiences? This book seeks to answer these questions. Beginning with an exploration of the original staging conditions, the study goes on to examine the reasons why the plays are produced today, and through a series of case studies looks at how notions of community, identity and space are articulated within contemporary stagings: it considers productions at Chester, Chichester, Leeds, Lichfield, Lincoln, Toronto, Worsbrough, and York, as well as productions by the Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. Importantly, the author uses evidence gleaned from interviews with directors and producers, and observation of rehearsals, and performances, to bring a fresh and modern perspective to bear. Richly illustrated. KATIE NORMINGTON is Professor of Drama at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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