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A New Cycle of Mystery Plays

1 hour, 30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 23 December 2012

by Dawn King, Katie Hims, Frazer Flintham, Winsome Pinnock and Tom Wells. Rev Dr Giles Fraser introduces five New Testament stories revisited and set in present day pre-Christmas London by five great dramatists. Each play has been broadcast in the Essay, each night this week.

Tony ... Ben Crowe
Aleksy ... Patrick Brennan
Joe ... Will Howard
Eric ... Paul Stonehouse
Nina ... Liza Sadovy
Janine ... Sarah Gordy
Ali ... Lizzy Watts
Kofi ... O-T Fagbenle
Wendy ... Rosie Cavaliero
Rod ... Will Howard
Loren ... Christine Absalom
Alan ... Adam Nagaitis
Christine ... Noma Dumezweni
Larry ... Robert Blythe
Martha ... Sarah Thom
Mary ... Stephanie Racine
Ellie ... Katie Angelou
Miss ... Eleanor Crooks
Marcus ... Shaun Aylward
Daniel ... Jack Boulter
Alice ... Ellie Hopkins

Directed by Jessica Dromgoole


Broadcast as single plays in the Essay in the run up to Christmas, five newly commissioned short plays inspired by the medieval Mystery Plays, here brought together to capture the festival feel of the original cycles. Each play is a reworking of a New Testament Story, reset in the contemporary world by up and coming writers - and evoking the spirit of these early forms of theatre. Together they form a new cycle. Rev. Dr. Giles Fraser introduces the plays to give them a biblical context.

The New Cycle of Mystery Plays, every evening in The Essay, and then compiled on Sunday in the Drama on 3, is the second Cycle commissioned by Radio 3. Last year's Cycle, with stories all drawn from the Old Testament, featured Noah's Flood (set in a B&Q), the Creation (rehearsed in the mind of a recovering coma victim), Samson and Delilah (set in a hair salon), the Flight from Egypt (where old people break out of an oppressive home in Hackney) and David and Goliath (for the Israelites and the Philistines, read two postcode gangs in North West London).

Dawn King is an award winning writer who works in theatre, radio and film. Her play Foxfinder won the Papatango new writing competition and then Best Playwright in the Offies. Dawn King is an award winning writer who works in theatre, radio and film. Her play Foxfinder won the Papatango new writing competition and then the Best Playwright in the Offies.

Katie Hims writes for radio, stage and television. Earthquake Girl won the Richard Imeson Award in 1998, and Lost Property a series of three afternoon plays for Radio 4 won Best Drama at the Audio Drama Awards 2012.

Frazer Flintham is a member of the Forward Theatre Project, and has had work on in Edinburgh, the Bush, Soho Theatre, and the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. His next Radio 3 play, We are Mermaid, will be broadcasting in early 2013.

Winsome Pinnock is a London playwright whose work featured frequently at the Royal Court in the late 80s and early 90s. Her 1991 play, Talking in Tongues, won the George Devine Award.

Tom Wells is a young playwright from Hull, whose play The Kitchen Sink, at the Bush Theatre, won the George Devine Award, the Critics' Circle Most Promising Playwright Award, and has just been shortlisted for the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.


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