Summer 2022 will see the welcome return of Starring Lincoln Theatre Company to Lincoln Cathedral for another fantastic theatrical production in the nave.

This time they will transport us to the Paris of 1482 with the lavish stage musical version of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film.

The story begins as the famous bells of Notre Dame sound during the Festival of Fools. Quasimodo, the lonely but faithful bell-ringer, confined to the Cathedral, longs to be part of the outside world. As the tale unfolds we witness the love, hate, betrayal and benevolence that features in the lives of the protagonists.

The Very Revd Christine Wilson, Dean of Lincoln said, “In the midst of another lockdown, when the Cathedral is necessarily, but heartbreakingly quiet, the thought of seeing the nave once again full of people gathered together to experience music and drama fills me with optimism, and I hope that this announcement will bring some much needed cheer to people across Lincolnshire and beyond.”

Despite the historic setting of the story, many of its themes are just as relevant today; from the depiction of, and reaction to disability in the middle ages, to the representation of women and the persecution of minority groups.

Dean Christine added, “The play poses many questions, but one which it returns to time and again is ‘What makes a monster and what makes a man?’ As we enjoy the talent of the actors and musicians who will bring this story to life, it is a timely opportunity for each of us to reflect on how we find the strength and faith to challenge injustice, inequality and intolerance within society.”

The unique setting of Lincoln Cathedral will truly bring to life one of the main characters of Hugo’s original novel – the Cathedral building itself. It is believed that this will be the first production of Hunchback to be staged in a cathedral and the setting is particularly poignant in the aftermath of the devastating fire at Notre Dame in April 2019.

Previous collaborations between Lincoln Cathedral and Starring Lincoln have included critically acclaimed productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll and Hyde, and most recently Oliver!

As always, the show will be produced and performed by the people of Lincoln under the direction of Ben Poole from Starring Lincoln Theatre Company.

Ben said, “I am so excited about bringing this show to our beautiful cathedral, it is a perfect fit. Victor Hugo believed in the importance of preserving medieval architecture and incarnated Notre Dame as perhaps the most important character in his novel.

“Our shows are renowned for bringing hundreds of people together to participate. Victor Hugo sums up very well the reason we do it; ‘Do you know of anything in the world more rich, more joyous, more golden, more dazzling, than this tumult of bells and chimes – this furnace of music – these thousands of brazen voices, all singing together in flutes of stone three hundred feet high, than this city which is but one orchestra – this symphony which roars like a tempest.’ It will have been nearly 3 years since we have had the opportunity to do so due to the pandemic. I’m sure it will feel like a much needed celebration.”

Full details for the show including dates and ticket prices will be announced later this year – keep an eye on the Lincoln Cathedral website and social media channels for more updates.