30 June 2019 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Iffley Church and Church Hall
Church Way
Oxford OX4 4TS
Penny Tyack
07813 692866


The forecast is for strong sun so bring hats, suncream and sunglasses!  But no umbrellas/parasols (this is the rule for groundlings at the Globe Theatre).


WHAT: Two short mystery plays written in the 14th-15thcenturies for amateur actors, The Creation tells the story of God creating the world, giving Paradise to Adam and Eve and casting them out for disobedience. The Deluge tells the story of Noah’s flood.

WHO: A group of local actors from in and around the Iffley area, under the direction of David Wiles, Professor of Drama and historian of the theatre, sponsored by Living Stones Iffley.

WHERE: In front of Iffley’s famous Romanesque church. The event begins in the Church Hall, then processes to the Churchyard where audience seating is on the ground, on straw-bales, or on chairs. You are advised to bring a cushion and/or a blanket.

WHEN: The play will be performed twice:

Saturday 29 June at 7.00 p.m.  SOLD OUT (see below)

Sunday 30 June at 3.00 p.m.  SOLD OUT (see below)

The performance will last about two hours, including a half-hour interval for refreshments, when medieval music will be provided by the Ghaetta ensemble.

FOR WHOM: The event is suitable for audiences of all ages. These stories (which predate Christianity) belong to everyone, and are presented in an inclusive way.


– These stories still matter, especially in a world threatened by flooding and environmental destruction.

– Mystery plays are part of our medieval heritage and their topic is our shared humanity. Their poetry resonates against the stones of Iffley’s remarkable medieval church.

– Medieval plays were written as community theatre. We see the play as less a ‘show’ than a community event for local people.

IF IT RAINS HEAVILY: We will perform indoors. But this is England, so come equipped for showers (which will lend atmosphere to the story of Noah’s flood).

TICKETS: Tickets can be bought from 1st May in the Iffley village shop, or at certain village events. Cost £10 (£5 for children aged 5-16).

Standard adult tickets can be bought online at

Online tickets for this performance are now SOLD OUT. 

There will also be a limited number of ‘baptistery’ tickets, for people with mobility problems, or who do not feel able to stand in the Church Hall for the first 5-10 minutes, and who need first access to the available outdoor seating. Baptistery ticket holders will be seated in the church to see a slightly shortened version of the play’s opening. They will then move to appropriate seating outside the West Front of the church to watch the rest of the performance. Baptistery tickets cannot be obtained online.

There is no charge for preschool children, but because of a legal restriction on numbers we cannot guarantee that you and your children will have access to the Church Hall for the beginning of the event.


Who exactly is mounting this event? Living Stones Iffley, an arm of the parish church, mounts creative events aimed at a broader audience than worshippers or tourists in order to celebrate the history and purpose of one of the finest Romanesque buildings in England.

Where do the plays come from? These come from the retelling by medieval townspeople of stories from the Bible. The ‘Creation’ is from the East Anglian so-called ‘N-Town cycle’ and links the rebellion of the angel Lucifer to the rebellion of Adam and Eve. The first part of the ‘Deluge’ comes from Newcastle and tells the story of building the ark and the devil’s seduction of Noah’s wife. The story of the flood itself comes from the famous York cycle of mystery plays.

Refreshments? Snacks and non-alcoholic drinks will be offered during the interval from Food to Feel Good About, the catering arm of the Rose Hill Junior Youth Club. Donations welcome.

How do I get there?,-1.2380116,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x165b38a8f3c0f760!8m2!3d51.7280992!4d-1.2380116

Further information? Contact us at