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The Resurrection, York (2015)

History of the Players

What are your memories of the Players of St Peter? Olive Stubbs writes:

Currently, I am working on compiling a collection of views and anecdotes from audience and players alike – past and present – about what the Players mean to them, what makes the group and its work special, which church locations or aspects of the productions individuals have particularly liked, and any memorable incidents that people would like to record. My hope is that in the coming year this will build into an informal history of the Players over the decades.

The Players of St Peter was founded in 1946 at the church of St Peter-upon-Cornhill in the City of London - hence our name. Since those years in the City we have been based in churches in west and east London and since 2016 in north London.

Through all that time, we have been fortunate in maintaining very faithful audiences who have followed our progress and supported our productions, some handing on that support to their children and even grandchildren. Many remark that for them our plays are the true start of Christmas, which is a lovely thought.

During the 30 years since 1986, while I have been adapting and directing the plays, I have found it a great pleasure to work with so many talented people, to find the gems of truth, humour and language in the texts, and get to know many of our keen supporters and patrons. The Players and our traditional performances are indeed special in many ways.

So, if you would like to hear more about this project – or to contribute some of your own thoughts or memories (however long or short) about the Players from your point of view – please contact me by email to olive.c1480@gmail.com – it will be a pleasure to hear from you.

Welcome to the Players of St Peter

For 2022 we shall present scenes, from the
 
Coventry Corpus Christi Plays
 
2022  Dec 08, Thu  –  Dec 10, Sat
 
in the church of St Saviour - Hampstead,
Eton Road, Chalk Farm, London, NW3 4SU
 
See map below.
But first, to put on our production we need
cast and crew.
If you are interested in taking part please come to one of our auditions in the church - (see address above and map below) on
2022 Aug 15, Mon19:00
2022 Aug 22, Mon19:00
If you would like to be involved but cannot make the audition dates, please contact the director, Gill Taylor on director.posp@gmail.com.
 
The scripts are available:
Watch this space for details of how to book.
The selection of plays will be the same at each performance.

The Coventry Corpus Christi Plays are one of the many cycles that now only survive in fragments. They are unique amongst the cycles we have in that the text that survives includes music specifically intended for the performances, notably the famous Coventry Carol. So as well as the usual nativity story expect a ranting Herod and massacred innocents!
The Coventry Cycle is also important for the history of English literature in that it is likely that a young William Shakespeare would have seen and been influenced by the plays before their final performance in 1579.

Gill's brilliant Photoshopped map
Larger map

We are an amateur-drama group founded in 1946 and specialising in medieval drama, specifically the cycles of mystery plays based on stories from the Bible. These were performed annually by the trade guilds at the midsummer festival of Corpus Christi until they fell into disfavour, casualties of the Reformation some 500 years ago.

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The Resurrection, York (2015)

History of the Players

What are your memories of the Players of St Peter? Olive Stubbs writes:

Currently, I am working on compiling a collection of views and anecdotes from audience and players alike – past and present – about what the Players mean to them, what makes the group and its work special, which church locations or aspects of the productions individuals have particularly liked, and any memorable incidents that people would like to record. My hope is that in the coming year this will build into an informal history of the Players over the decades.

The Players of St Peter was founded in 1946 at the church of St Peter-upon-Cornhill in the City of London - hence our name. Since those years in the City we have been based in churches in west and east London and since 2016 in north London.

Through all that time, we have been fortunate in maintaining very faithful audiences who have followed our progress and supported our productions, some handing on that support to their children and even grandchildren. Many remark that for them our plays are the true start of Christmas, which is a lovely thought.

During the 30 years since 1986, while I have been adapting and directing the plays, I have found it a great pleasure to work with so many talented people, to find the gems of truth, humour and language in the texts, and get to know many of our keen supporters and patrons. The Players and our traditional performances are indeed special in many ways.

So, if you would like to hear more about this project – or to contribute some of your own thoughts or memories (however long or short) about the Players from your point of view – please contact me by email to olive.c1480@gmail.com – it will be a pleasure to hear from you.

Only four texts survive substantially intact, plus fragments from other cycles, and it is from those four – Wakefield, York, Chester and Corpus Christi (n-Town) – that we draw the bulk of our material, presenting a selection from each in turn, year by year. Every fifth year the production, dubbed The Director's Choice, gives the director licence to mix-and-match the plays, which gives us the opportunity to perform scenes from the fragmentary cycles.

 

 
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