Creation & Fall 2019

Adam and Eve with the tree of knowledge and the serpent
  • Location: in front of the Chapel
  • Time: 12 noon
  • Performers: Iffley Players


God the Father – Hilary Pearson
God the Son – Deborah Burrows
God the Holy Ghost – Marianne Puxley
Lucifer/Serpent – Andrew Stilborn
Angels – Fiona Nevola, Martin Noble
Adam – Nicola Borthwick
Eve – Laurence Nagy

Musicians – members of the Ghaetta ensemble:
Penny Terry – crumhorn, flute, recorder
Suzanne Higgins – concertina
Val O’Sullivan – bladder pipe, recorder
Ann Clarke – cortol, recorder
Annabel Donat – lute harp
Andrew Harvey – frame drum
Sophia Welsh – fiddle

Director – David Wiles
Producer on behalf of Living Stones – Penny Tyack

Summary of the Play

We will perform a shortened version of a single pageant which features in the 15th century East Anglian N-Town cycle. After God has created the world, the downfall of the angel Lucifer anticipates the fall of humankind when Adam and Eve eat the apple. Or was it really a fig? Or a pomegranate? At all events, we human beings will never live in paradise again. We do not know exactly how or where this pageant was first performed. Although the play was not originally written for a three-person God, our staging points up aspects of the text that were important in the 15th century. And of course God is female; we all know that.

About the Performance

This performance is work in progress. It will culminate in a production of The Creation and Deluge to be performed in St Mary’s Churchyard, Iffley, on Saturday 29 June at 7pm and Sunday 30 June at 3pm. The production is a community event, and its linking theme is human beings’ lack of care for their environment. The venial Mrs Noah is a reworking of the Eve figure. The production is part of the Living Stones project, which seeks through different creative activities to reanimate the stones of Iffley’s famous Romanesque church. We relish the beauty of medieval verse which will be brought to new life in front of the west door.

We are delighted that this initiative by Henrike Lähnemann and Lesley Smith has created the opportunity for making some of the glories of medieval theatre available to an Oxford audience, and for allowing us to stage this preview, which we expect to find instructive.

Tickets for the June performances will be available from 1 May; find more information here.


Read as a pdf the Middle English text (from the N-Town Cycle) of Creation and Fall with the stage instructions for the St Edmund Hall performance.


Watch Performance

To watch all the performances please visit the YouTube playlist by clicking the link below.

Full Playlist

Performance Locations

Hover over a location marker for performance times and links to additional information.

  1. Creation & Fall (Iffley Players)

    Chapel - 12noon

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  2. Noah (English Faculty Staff)

    Old Dining Hall - 12:40pm

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  3. Abraham (Magdalen College School)

    Well - 1:20pm

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  4. Annunciation & Visitation (Cuddesdon)

    St Edmund Statue - 1:50pm

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  5. Shepherds (English Faculty Students)

    Churchyard - 2:20pm

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  6. Crucifixion (Lincoln College)

    Churchyard - 2:50pm

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  7. Lamentation (Italianists)

    Churchyard - 3:15pm

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  8. Harrowing of Hell (Medieval Germanists)

    The garden east of St Peter-in-the-East - 3:30pm

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  9. Resurrection (UCL)

    Tomb behind Church - 4pm

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  10. Judgement (St Edmund Hall)

    Broadbent Garden - 4:30pm

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College Map
Mystery Cycle Play Performance Locations