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Mystery Ostriches At The Ready In Ruins

A huge blue ostrich will walk into view tonight to start the millennium mysteries at Coventry Cathedral.

Millennium Mystery ostrich by Ian TiltonThe sky over the ruins will be lit by giant torches as dark falls for the run of shows using the only remaining segment of a Coventry Medieval Mystery play.

The 16th century snippet has been added to and re-interpreted by theatre directors from Coventry and Poland.

Actors from the Polish company Teatr Biuro Podrozy have been rehearsing on top of a multi-storey car park in the city centre for the show – the only place where their stilts can be safely accommodated.

The project, which attracted the largest Millennium Festival arts grant in the West Midlands features the re-telling of a familiar biblical story.

But the co-production between Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre and the world-famous Polish company will tell the story of Herod and the Three Kings like it has never been seen before.

The mysteries, which run until 5 August, will include a devil and angel, 10ft off the ground on stilts, battling over a huge inflatable world.

Herod will sit on the giant globe and the three kings ride in on a giant blue ostrich, a 10ft long tortoise, and an enormous elephant.

It is the first time that Teatr Biuro Podrozy have been involved with a joint English venture in the city, although they performed here three times during the 1990s.

The production will involve both English and Polish professional actors and nearly 100 local people from all areas of the community with ages ranging from 7 to 70.

The cast includes Coventry-based actor, Andy Hockley, as one of the Narrators plus Joe Speare playing Herod/Pilate, Isobel Ford as Mary Magdalene, Kraig Thornber as the Astrologer.

Simon Jermond, Rachel Karafistan, also from Coventry, and Manjinder Virk are the rest of the English actors and they will be joined by six performers from Poland.

All performances start at 8.30pm and run every night except Sundays. Ticket details on 024 7655 3055.
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CWN / Arts & Entertainment / Belgrade Theatre / 18 Jul  00

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