The final curtain is coming down on the Lichfield Mysteries after almost 30 years because of a lack of funding and volunteers.
The trustees of the community arts scheme confirmed the decision to close the organisation in June.
Hundreds of people have taken part in the 27 plays in the city since the first production in 1994.
Trustee Ann Mayo, who has been part of the Lichfield Mysteries since the first production, said:
“It is sad that the Lichfield Mysteries must come to an end, but with so few volunteer trustees and funding for the arts at a minimum, we could not see a way forward.
“The good news is that the plays will still be available should any group, school, church or college wish to perform them.
“In this way, the Lichfield Mysteries will live on.”Ann Mayo
Secretary Hugh Ashton said:
“Though Lichfield Mysteries Community Arts may sadly no longer be in existence, the memories of the plays performed over the past 30 years will live on – and who knows, as and when times improve, maybe we will see a revival of the whole cycle in the future.”Hugh Ashton
The Trustees have decided that monies left after the closure will be divided between two Arts groups in the city – Lichfield Musical Youth Theatre and Lichfield Arts.
The youth theatre’s president and musical director Oliver Rowe said:
“The Lichfield Mysteries we’re always a cornerstone of the Lichfield arts calendar when I was in the Youth Theatre and growing up in Lichfield.
“I was so very sad to hear that the Mysteries were going to be no more. When they contacted me to tell us they had chosen to donate some of the remaining funds to Lichfield Musical Youth Theatre I was so moved that they had chosen to invest this in the young performers of the city.
“The local community has always been so supportive of us since we began in 1985, and, with the past few years being so hard on us all, it was really touching to have been chosen.
“We will ensure it’s put to good use in the continuing development of young performers in the area. I cannot thank the Mysteries committee enough.”Oliver Rowe
Mark Jones, from Lichfield Arts, said:
“We will be using the funds to support the Lichfield Festival of Folk, and in particular the Arts and Heritage Procession and Dancing in the City event taking place at the event on 15th October.
“The funding will help the festival deliver upon its community aims, and help to provide the opportunity for arts and heritage groups from across the country to participate in an important fixture of the Lichfield cultural calendar, and to continue its inspiring and cohesive benefits both to the public and the organisations taking part.
“Lichfield Mysteries has been a popular and well respected organisation in Lichfield for many years, and has played a strong part in supporting, promoting and encouraging arts, heritage and tradition in the city.
“Lichfield Arts is saddened that the Lichfield Mysteries has now come to a close and is very grateful for the group’s generosity and support.”Mark Jones