The South African version of the medieval mystery plays, The Mysteries, which had a very successful run at the Queen's in Shaftesbury Avenue earlier this year, and which is available on video, is to be staged at Wilton's Music Hall, where it was recorded for video this summer by Heritage Theatre.
The show will play from Oct. 29 to Dec. 14 in tandem with an African version of The Beggar's Opera, which will preview Oct. 10, open on Oct. 16 and run to Dec. 13.
The performances and venue make an intriguing combination. Broomhill Opera, who run Wilton's Music Hall in London's East End, moved into the semi-derelict space three years ago and have been the driving force behind the theatre's restoration and revival after years of neglect. A Grade II Listed building, Wilton's is the world's oldest surviving Grand Music Hall. Since the 1960's — except for performances of T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland with Fiona Shaw, directed by Deborah Warner — Wilton's had been largely inaccessible. Since its reopening in 1999 the restored building has opened its doors to the public on a regular basis.
Mark Dornford-May is Artistic Director of Wilton's Music Hall and the South African Academy of Performing Arts. For several years he taught at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Founding Director of the Playwright's Company in Bristol and Associate Director of the Old Vic, Stoke-on-Trent, he has also directed at the Sheffield Crucible, the Oxford Playhouse, The Gate Theatre Notting Hill and the Royal Shakespeare Company. In addition, he has directed large-scale theatre pieces in Portugal, France, Belgium and South Africa. His most recent work has included Carmen, The Silverlake (in South Africa) and The Mysteries.