The Nativity as you’ve never seen it, Shakespeare and a family favourite

The Trials of Mary
The Trials of Mary

A frequent and popular visitor to the city, Eastern Angles returns to Peterborough with The Trials of Mary on July 15

It is the story of Mary and Joseph as you have never seen it before - an incredible story of a woman who agrees to marry old Joseph, bear a surrogate baby, endure humiliating trials, embark on long journey with no inn at the end and, finally, escape from a cruel dictator.

Stonemasons and carpenters celebrated this drama on the streets of Peterborough 500 years ago –now it has been updated to re-celebrate this extraordinary sequence of events.

The Medieval Mystery plays have been modernised in The Trials of Mary written by Pete Cox, Clare Currie, Ivan Cutting, Charley Genever, Keely Mills and Toby Wood.

Eastern Angles will be reviving the gripping stories in a fresh and new atmospheric way.

The Trials of Mary is a moving tale of one woman’s loyalty, a comedy of manners, and a thriller all in one.

“Making it new is really important,” explains artistic director Ivan Cutting. “We’re kind of presenting God as a chief executive who’s not sure his company is working to its best advantage. His son meanwhile has an X-Box and is playing on it because he has nothing else to do, and the Holy Spirit, we think, is probably raiding the drinks cabinet.

“We also don’t have the baby being born in a stable– these days we think you’d go to hospital and they’d have no beds because of cuts, so it happens in the A&E department surrounded by the drunks on a Friday night. So we have definitely updated it!”

There are six performances to look forward to: The Undercroft, Serpentine Green Shopping Centre on Friday, July 14 at 6.30pm; Peterborough Cathedral, July 15 at 12pm and 2.30pm; Ferry Meadows on July 15 at 6.30pm; and Cathedral Square on July, 16 at 12pm and 2.30pm.

Pre-book your free ticket via www.easternangles.co.uk or call the box office on 01473 211298.

The cathedral performance is just one of a series of theatrical enterprises at the historic venue over the summer - which also includes Shakespeare and those quintessentially English favourites, Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad,

Award-winning London-based theatre company Antic Disposition perform their darkly comic production of Shakespeare’s Richard III on July 14 and 15 at 7.30pm.

The play will be staged under the beautiful fan vaulted ceiling of the 16th century New Building in the cathedral.

The company is known for showing international audiences many of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, and has brought their sell-out production of Henry V to the cathedral once before, when they presented the play in February - and this performance promises to be just as gripping.

Then on July 28 at 7pm, enjoy the beloved tale of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad in the magical open-air setting of the Cloisters, performed by Boxtree Productions.

The Wind in the Willows is a family show packed with inventive staging, original songs and fantastic story telling and will unfold in Boxtree Productions’ unique and energetic way.

Refreshments will be on sale, or you can bring a picnic. You are also welcome to bring a blanket to sit on or a low backed chair, and clothes to suit the conditions as the performance will go ahead whatever the weather!

For more details and booking information check the cathedral website www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/events