1999 Press

Mystery Play Devil Angel Banner

Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Standard

Actors Were Professional

THIS triumphant new version of the medieval Coventry Mystery Plays was as professional as any amateur production can be, ensuring that Blockley left the old Millennium in spectacular fashion.

Lighting, sound, costumes, props, medieval style musical accompaniment and stage management were all up to professional standards.

At least three of the actors had professional experience, while their amateur colleagues had clearly received professional tuition, judging by the way they projected themselves.

Such professionalism was unsurprising because the director was Chris Jury – alias Eric Catchpole of Lovejoy – who kept a watchful eye from the top of the towering lighting rig.

Having to turn to follow the action, as it switched between stages on three sides of the room, ingeniously made the capacity audience feel involved in the play, which told Christ’s story from the Nativity to the Ascension.

A suitably charismatic performance was given by Paul Cody, who, with his long hair and beard, looked unnervingly like the popular image of Christ.
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Anna Stamp gave a performance of tender substance as the Virgin Mary, while the most show-stopping contributions came from Clive Billing as the First King, Annas and The Devil.

Other notable performances came from Robert Dennis as Herod and Pontius Pilot, Bryan Oliver as Captain of the Guard and young Hannah Brown as the Angel Gabriel.

One word will be forever associated with this production – professionalism.

Simon Crump

Stratford upon Avon Herald

A village that is bursting with talent

ONE of the artistic highlights of the millennium celebrations must have been Blockley’s portrayal of the Mystery Plays.

The Picturesque church in the village was transformed into a theatre set by the removal of pews to create an open area for the three promenade style performances.

The production was the result of an idea by director and Blockley resident Chris Jury, best known for his portrayal of Eric Catchpole in BBC’s Lovejoy, who described it as a community play.

“If there is ever a time to tell the story of the life of Christ from the Nativity to the Resurrection, it couldn’t he better than between Christmas and the start of the third millennium of Christianity” said Mr Jury.

“We have been amazed at the wealth of talent that exists right within this village. The production developed into something very special thanks to the expertise of residents with specialist skills in theatre lighting, stage management and sound design for example.

“Even our choreographer who lives locally taught Arnold Schwarzenegger to tango in True Lies!”

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