The Lincoln Mystery Plays are heading to a pew near you

Featured in:
July 2022

For the first time ever this summer, the historic Lincoln Mystery Plays are touring the county – with performances in a number of churches.

Postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic, the plays – which have medieval origins – have a Presented by a community of local actors under professional direction, this ordinarily-once-every-four-years revival of an ancient tradition has become a much-anticipated highlight of the county’s arts calendar, drawing audiences from around the world.

Refreshed for this airing, the historical performances will bring Bible stories to life with a balance of playful humour and poignant sincerity at locations across Lincolnshire, including the new gardens at Lincoln Cathedral and, for the first time, a tour of four major county churches.

Performances are scheduled for 25th to 30th July at Lincoln Cathedral, then at St Mary’s Church, Horncastle on 2nd August; St Denys’ Church, Sleaford on 3rd August; St James’ Church, Louth on 4th August, and finally two nights at All Saints’ Church, Gainsborough on 5th and 6th August. All performances start at 7.30pm, with the Lincoln shows presented open air in the shadow of the Cathedral, with an opportunity to picnic. There will be a special BSL-signed performance on Saturday 30th July.

Tickets, priced at £12 and £15, are available now through the Mystery Plays website (visit and directly from the venues.

With experience of the York Mystery Plays, director Tom Straszewski has brought a fresh interpretation to the historic Lincoln plays. Whilst remaining true to their medieval origins, they tell the story of the world from Creation through to Doomsday. Along the way we meet a cast of vibrant characters, including gossips, nosey midwives, soldiers, angels and even God. It is a collaborative approach where actors take on a multitude of characters, backed up by folk music, puppetry and dance, to bring the powerful narrative to life.

“What draws me to the plays – and to Lincoln’s plays in particular – is their continued relevance,” says Tom.

“As we start to move out of the pandemic, we’re telling the story of a community coming together once more. Of course, they don’t find it easy; hardly surprising when there are devils, angels, saints and sinners all arguing what the new world should be like. But we’ll do it with good humour.

“The medieval texts used by Lincoln are deeply concerned with truth-telling, trials and shaping stories. This speaks loudly at a time when truth feels unstable, politicians lie for power, and everybody has their own story to tell.

“What we have is a celebration of storytelling – a community gathering in shade off a broad tree in the warmth of summer, to share their food and their stories. And of course, we want everybody to have a chance to join this community. We look forward to welcoming you to one or more of our 11 performances.”

For more information visit the website Follow on Twitter @mysteryplays and on Facebook @lincolnmysteries

Photographs: courtesy of LMP/Phil Crow

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