The Coventry Mysteries used to be one of the most celebrated festivals in medieval England.
But in a dramatic reinvention of the festival, the Coventry Mysteries Company has launched an ambition to create a very modern arts festival encompassing the values of the old.
Included in the event is a controversial new play, Missing, and it includes the story about the disappearance of Coventry teen Nicola Payne.
Engineer Theatre Collective is transferring its award-winning piece of verbatim theatre to the Belgrade Theatre for two nights from May 23.
Missing was devised from first hand interviews, gathered by the cast, which cover experiences of families, friends, and investigators of missing people.
One particular case, explored through the eyes of Detective Inspector Martin Slevin, is the disappearance of Nicola.
Exposing unheard accounts and questioning assumption, Engineer examines the mystery of an astoundingly under-publicized issue of the disappeared and tries to raise awareness about the issue.
The new piece of devised work was created in collaboration with journalists David Randall and Greg Walton from The Independent, the Missing People charity, and Sandra Brown, of the Moira Anderson Foundation.
The Mysteries aims to re-energise city centre spaces through art and performance.
There will be 3D drawings from the Pavement Picasso, Julian Beever to adventures in site specific venues.
Reckless Sleepers stage The Last Supper in Coventry’s St John the Baptist’s Church.
With a glass of wine in hand, they invite the audience to join them for dinner – to eat and drink while they tell, and then eat, the last words of the famous, infamous, the not so famous, criminals, victims, heroes, heroines and stars…
From Marilyn Monroe to Rasputin to Andy Warhol to Joan of Arc to the victims of the Hiroshima bombings – this unusual performance serves up the last meals and last minute scenarios to a limited audience of 39 people.
Now in its fifth year, the Coventry Mysteries has also pulled off a coup – commissioning Station House Opera to create their breeze block spectacular, Dominoes, as the climax to this year’s festival on Bank Holiday Monday 26 May.
Since it first wove its way through London as part of the cultural Olympiad in 2009, it has been re-created in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Dijon, Ljubljana and will, later this year, in Cape Town.
Advanced tickets for festival events can be book through the Belgrade Theatre.
For more information go to www.coventrymysteries.com