He’s not the Messiah, he’s a De Aston student

De Aston student Tom Manson, left, takes on a big role in this year's Lincoln Mystery Plays
De Aston student Tom Manson, left, takes on a big role in this year's Lincoln Mystery Plays

THE timeless truths of Bible stories, told with humour, dignity, solemnity and awe – the medieval art of Mystery Plays – return to Lincoln this month.

With one foot planted firmly in their medieval past and another solidly grounded in the present, The Lincoln Mystery Plays remain a vibrant and valid part of the county’s cultural heritage.

And this year a Market Rasen student is taking on the role of the most famous man in history – Jesus.

There can’t be many 18-year-olds who, in the thick of revising, stressing and sitting A-levels, are willing to take on the mantle of the Messiah, but that’s just what Tom Manson is doing.

“I’m trying to avoid recreating stained glass images, but to understand the human emotions, feelings and motivations behind the stories,” said Tom.

“There are some scenes where I barely speak, but there’s obviously a lot of depth to what I do say.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge that whilst Jesus is God on Earth, he is also a human being on Earth. I’m trying hard to work that into my performance as I think it will make it easier to get a sense of his suffering and to relate to that.”

Just like the Olympics, the Lincoln Mystery Plays are staged only every four years, and this year sees nine performances taking place at the heart of historic Lincoln.

The open air production begins at the medieval Bishop’s Palace for the Creation and Old Testament stories before taking a journey to the Cathedral Cloister for the power of the Passion after dark.

The plays are performed nightly until July 21, all starting at 7.30pm with an opportunity to enjoy picnics and art installations from 6.30pm.

Tickets cost £15 and £13, with a family ticket for £49, and are available from the Cathedral shop 01522 561644 or Lincoln Drill Hall 01522 873894 and warm and waterproof clothing are recommended.