Preparations for first Lichfield Mysteries Festival underway.

Plans and rehearsals for the first Lichfield Mysteries Festival are well underway.

The legacy of the Mystery Plays, part of the community life of the city since 1994, is being carried on by students from Lichfield schools and the college.

Students from Lichfield Cathedral School, The Friary, King Edward VI, Nether Stowe and South Staffordshire College will perform a selection of plays in the non-competitive festival in February.

Pupils of The Friary School, Lichfield, in rehearsal for their production of The Shepherds.

Arranged by the Trustees of Lichfield Mysteries Community Arts (LMCA), the Festival will also feature a production by Adolf Reichwein Schule Theatre Group, from Lichfield’s twin town of Limburg and der Lahn.

Each of the participating schools will receive £500 from LMCA to assist in their productions.

Rick Hill, Chair of LMCA, said: “Though the plays as they were produced in the past were extremely popular, circumstances have forced changes in the way we present the Mysteries, and we are delighted that these schools and colleges, which are such an important and vibrant part of our city’s community, have come forward to help preserve an older tradition, and hopefully to start a new one.”

The school and college staffs have each chosen a number of the 27 short plays in the Mysteries cycle to perform in their own establishments and have selected one or two plays to perform in the festival.

There will be three adjudicators at the Festival – Elle Knight B.Ed LLAM FLAM, a noted adjudicator, director and voice coach; Malcolm Flanagan CBE, who has extensive media experience and worked for many years at the BBC and ITV on programme production; and author & director Peter Sidgwick, who has been associated with Lichfield Mysteries for some years. They will provide written adjudications for each production.

The festival is in the theatre of The Friary School, Eastern Avenue, Lichfield, on Saturday February 9 at 2pm.

Tickets are £3 – the money being divided between the participating schools and College – available from the Samuel Johnson Birthplace, Breadmarket Street, Lichfield.