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Iceni Magazine | July 17, 2018

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The Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays 2018

The Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays 2018

The Norwich Medieval Mystery Plays are back, following their successful sell-out shows in 2016 at Norwich Castle.

Performed every two years, the 2018 production will take place in the atmospheric, medieval surroundings of Norwich Castle and Norwich Cathedral. Staged in two parts, audiences will be able to see some of the most dramatic stories ever written – Creation, Noah’s Ark, The Nativity, Crucifixion and The Resurrection – brought to life through the centuries old tradition of mystery play performances.

As early as the 1300’s mystery plays have delighted audiences in Norwich. Like York and Chester, Norwich would have had it’s own medieval collection of biblical plays. Sadly, only one play pertaining to Norwich remains, The Norwich Grocer’s Play – The Fall of Man, two versions of which are recorded in the eighteenth century documents of Robert Fitch and John Kirkpatrick. Another collection, the N-Town Plays, are said to have originated in East Anglia and would have been toured from town to town. The ‘N’ in N-Town stood for ‘nomen’, the Latin for name – the name of the location in which they were to be performed.

This year’s production brings together the post-reformation version of The Norwich Grocer’s Play, with plays from the N-Town collection and a new telling of the David and Goliath story.

“We are excited to be back with these incredible stories at two iconic Norwich locations. It’s an amazing feeling to be staging plays in locations that would have been used centuries ago. Performances of the plays are highly visual as they would have originally been for a predominantly illiterate population. That means we can use all sorts of theatrical styles and devices to present them. Whilst we know the stories to be bold and dramatic, they are also very poignant and full of humour; they take you on an amazing journey. Norwich remains one of the most significant medieval cities in Britain and at one time would have been the largest and most prosperous, outside of London. The plays are just one of the ways we can keep that history alive and continue to promote what the city has to offer”

Peter Beck, Director.

The Plays

            Part One

            Creation, The Fall of the Rebel Angels, Paradise and the Fall of Adam and Eve, Cain and    Abel, Noah’s Flood, Abraham and Isaac, Moses and the Pharaoh.

            Part Two

            The conflict of David and Goliath, The Nativity, The Baptism of Christ, The Passion, The    Resurrection, The Last Judgment.


Wednesday 18thJuly 7.30pm – Norwich Castle (Keep))  – Part 1

Thursday 19thJuly 7.30pm – Norwich Cathedral (Cloisters) – Part 2

Friday 20thJuly 7.30pm – Norwich Cathedral (Cloisters) – Part 1

Saturday 21stJuly 7.30pm – Norwich Castle (Keep) – Part 2


£12 Adults (£10 Concessions and Museum Pass) £6 Children

Tickets available from

Or telephone 0333 666 3366

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