The York Mystery Plays back to York this summer! (13th and 20th July 2014)
The York Mystery Plays are a quadrennial event, so don’t miss this year’s production which recreates the spectacle of the original medieval festivities. This year's performance is 'brought forth' by York Festival Trust and York is one of the very few places were the plays are performed in the original manner, on wagons processed through the city!
The word “mystery” from the York Mystery Plays meant a ‘religious truth’ or ‘rite’ in medieval English and so the plays tell the story of the world from the beginning of all things to the end of all things. From the comedy of God’s creation of the world and the shepherds visiting the manger, to the great set-piece dramas of The Harrowing of Hell and The Last Judgement.
These Plays were traditionally presented on the feast day of Corpus Christi by the City Guilds and York is fortunate to still have a surviving copy of the original scripts of 48 plays dating from around 1460!
Offering a truly unique experience for local and visitor alike, watch one or watch them all, bring a picnic and sit on the grass or buy a ticket and sit in comfort. You can even follow the wagons in procession through the streets.
The 2014 plays
The selection for 2014 and the groups who will perform the plays:
-Creation of the World to the Fifth Day – The Guild of Building
-The Fall of Man – The Gild of Freemen in partnership with Canon Lee School
-The Shepherds – The Guild of Scriveners
-Slaughter of the Innocents – Heslington Church
-The Baptism – A group under the directorship of Laura Rice
-The Woman taken in Adultery and The Raising of Lazarus combined into one play – York St John University
-Entry into Jerusalem – York Mystery Plays Supporter’s Trust.
-Christ before Annas and Caiaphas – The Company of Cordwainersin partnership with York Settlement Community Players
-The Crucifixion and The Death of Christ combined as one play – The Company of Butchers in partnership with Parish Church of St Chad on the Knavesmire
-The Harrowing of Hell – Parish Church of St Luke the Evangelist
-The Resurrection – The Company of Merchant Taylors who will put together a cast under the direction of Lindsay Ibbotson
-The Last Judgement – The Company of Merchant Adventurers in partnership with Pocklington School
The 4 Stations & Performance times
On two consecutive Sundays in July 2014, nearly 600 volunteers from across the community will be performing 12 plays on 12 waggons that move through the city streets among four stations!