A Lichfield Mysteries performance

A lack of financial backing has been blamed for the cancellation of the Lichfield Mysteries.

A Lichfield Mysteries performance

The group had hoped to run their next community arts event in May 2015 – but were refused a grant by Arts Council England.

Lichfield Mysteries chairman, Peter Chell, said the news was a major blow.

“We were bitterly disappointed when Arts Council England turned down our application,” he said. “It has forced us to postpone our planned performance next year.

“We like to give as near a professional presentation as possible and money already raised from sponsorship and our own fundraising efforts was just not enough to cover the cost.”

The full performance of the Mysteries, over a two-day period on Market Square and in the Cathedral, costs in the region of £100,000.

But the committee has now vowed to pull out all the stops to raise enough cash to present a spectacular Mysteries at a later date.

Peter added: “We are looking to redouble our efforts in seeking alternative funding and we will also be looking toward local businesses to support this remarkable Lichfield event.”

The last Mysteries, in 2012, was successfully led by a team of professionals which included a production director, assistant director, a designer and a lighting and sound crew. These professionals have already expressed a wish that, ideally, this team will come together again for the next main production.

The committee now hopes to gain extra backing from local and regional businesses, together with the support already offered from charitable trusts and councils.

In the meantime, the Lichfield Mysteries organisation will continue its work with local groups on smaller scale arts projects.

The next two events are: Epic Encounters – a talented group of dancers and theatre performers from Cambodia, who are dropping off in Lichfield on their UK tour. The presentation, on November 30 at Wade Street Church, Lichfield, has been arranged by the Mysteries.

And back by popular demand again this year, the Late Night Nativity on December 19 and 20 around Lichfield city centre. See the website for details. Any business wishing to help sponsor Mysteries or anyone who would like to be involved with fundraising is asked to contact barbara.box@hotmail.co.uk.