In October 2012, Winchester Cathedral will be staging a sound and light extravaganza, telling the story of the Cathedral’s history through over 1000 years. Using state-of-the-art technology, and with video appearances from a star-studded cast, Winchester: Chronicles of Light will be an unforgettable experience for all who come to see it.
Many from the local community also have their chance to play a part. Some are taking an important role front-of-house or backstage, helping everything to run smoothly and making people feel welcome.
In April and May, auditions were held for those who wished to perform in the event. A total of forty actors will form the backbone of the live performance team, taking roles as varied as King Canute and Mary Sumner, founder of the Mothers’ Union. The rehearsals for the show will begin in earnest in August at the Vineyard Church.
In addition to this home troupe, seven of the primary schools from around the County have been involved by the Hampshire Music Serve in the production. They will be singing and processing to music specially written by June Boyce-Tillman.
Pupils from other schools have been busy, sometimes with their parents, in workshops held in the Cathedral and Winchester’s Discovery Centre. With the help of local artist Alex Hoare, children from Stanmore, Weston and Weeke Primary Schools have made pages of memories bound together as The Big Book, one of the chief props of the play, which will be kept as a legacy item.
One of the children told Alex that “as soon as I walk around the corner to the Christmas market at the Cathedral I can smell that Christmas is near”. Another boy was proud that his great grandfather was a stone mason at the Cathedral in the last century.
And Alex herself says “The workshops have given children who probably might not otherwise have known about Winchester: Chronicles of Light the opportunity to be included in this wonderful event. Sometimes it is the small hidden stories that make you realise what an enormous impact this building has on people’s lives.”
There is an opportunity for more families to be involved and create their own story collage during a workshop Alex is running at the Discovery Centre on Saturday 4 August. For more details contact 01962 857274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All these activities add up to make Winchester: Chronicles of Light a real celebration of the life and talent of the community. As Executive Producer Roly Riem said, “We have a great history, which we want many more to value through this show, but we also want to say – the best is yet to come.”
The event runs from 12 to 28 October, and tickets are now on sale from the Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857275 and online.
Details of this and all events at the Cathedral are available from 01962 857200 and online.