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News release - Issued by York Minster

Lead actor announced for York Minster Mystery Plays

Game of Thrones and Coronation Street star Philip McGinley will play the lead role in this summer’s hotly-anticipated York Minster Mystery Plays.

The 34-year-old actor, who is currently starring in an adaptation of DH Lawrence’s Husbands and Sons at the National Theatre, will play Jesus in the cathedral’s production of the famous Plays.

Philip joined the cast in York yesterday, when all 200 plus community performers taking part in the Plays met for the first time for the first full read through of the script at the cathedral’s St William’s College.

York Minster’s magnificent Nave will be transformed into a 1000-seater auditorium for five weeks of performances of the Plays from Thursday 26 May, and tickets for the production went on sale this week.

“I’m hugely excited to be joining the cast of the York Minster Mystery Plays and I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the team and getting started with rehearsals on Sunday,” Philip explained.

“The chance to play Jesus at York Minster doesn’t come round very often, so I’m thrilled to have been chosen for the part. The Mystery Plays are world-famous and a huge part of the city and region’s cultural heritage, so it’s a fantastic project to be involved in and a rare chance to perform in a magnificent setting like York Minster.”

Philip, who was born in Liverpool, is best known for his roles as archer Anguy in HBO series Game of Thrones and as Tom Kerrigan in Coronation Street. He has also recently appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Great Expectations and ITV drama Home Fires.

Phillip Breen, director of the York Minster Mystery Plays, said: “I’m delighted Philip will be joining us in the lead role of Jesus - he’s a real rising star of the British theatre. His acting credentials range from film to major TV series, as well as numerous productions at major theatres so he brings a wealth of experience to the part and the wider production.”

The Plays, which run from Thursday 26 May to Thursday 30 June dramatise the greatest story ever told – from the creation of heaven and earth to the last judgement.

The Minster’s production is being developed by an award winning artistic team, including director Phillip Breen, of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and writer Mike Poulton, who recently wrote the scripts for the RSC’s productions of Hilary Mantel’s global best-selling novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.

Tickets for the production are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting, calling 01904 623568 or in person from the Theatre Royal’s Box Office at the De Grey Rooms in St Leonards Place, York, and York Minster’s visitor admission desks.


For media enquiries contact:

Leanne Woodhurst – Communications Manager – t: 01904 559534 m: 07824 017585