A Revels, Inc. and Shakespeare & Company special millennium collaboration:

The Mysteries

by Tony Harrison
A contemporary version of the medieval miracle plays

8 Performances March 3-5, 10-12, 2000 at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama

This Spring, Revels, Inc., in collaboration with Tina Packer's Lenox-based Shakespeare & Company, produced a special millennium production of The Mysteries, two weekends in March at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama Building in the South End.

Originally produced to great international acclaim by the Royal National Theatre of Britain in 1985, The Mysteries is contemporary British playwright Tony Harrison's adaptation of plays from the York, Chester, Wakefield and Coventry traditions originally written and performed by working men, craftsmen and members of the Guilds. In 1925, Godfrey W. Matthews wrote in his volume The Chester Mystery Plays,

"The Mystery Plays may be regarded as the most democratic thing in English literature. Whatever may have been their original conception, they became in fact in the Middle Ages, of the people, by the people, for the people."

Revels, Inc. and Shakespeare and Company collaborated this Spring on "The Nativity," the first of a 3-play cycle conceived by Mr. Harrison (the others being The Passion and Doomsday). "The Nativity" goes from The Creation to the Christmas Story and includes the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and Noah's Flood.

Patrick Swanson of Revels, Inc. and Tina Packer of Shakespeare and Company were co-artistic directors of The Mysteries. Staged by Mr. Swanson, The Mysteries incorporated many Revels elements including group singing, folk dance, and music rooted in tradition, ranging from the medieval to the contemporary. George Emlen, Revels' Music Director is The Mysteries Music Director.

A cast of 50 performers was featured in The Mysteries, including actors from Shakespeare & Company, English Traditional singers John Roberts and Tony Barrand of "Nowell Sing We Clear," The Revels Chorus, a teenage theater group based at the BCA, and brass, folk and string bands made up of some of the area's finest musicians.


Enter: The Lord God Almighty...

on a forklift!

Roger Ide photo 1397.06a

The Temptation of Mother Eve

Roger Ide photo 1397.15a

Herod, the King!

Roger Ide photo 1400.33a

Noah and the Ark

Roger Ide photo 1398.33a

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The 1998 Christmas Revels 1999 Sea Revels
The 1997 Christmas Revels 1998 Sea Revels
The 1996 Christmas Revels 1997 Midsummer Revels
The 1995 Christmas Revels 1996 Midsummer Revels

mysteries Since December 21, 1999

Updated Tuesday, January 23, 2001