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News release - Issued by York Festival Trust

York Mystery Plays for 2018

The Guilds of York will again be the driving force behind the York Mystery Plays in September 2018, marking a 20th anniversary of bringing the Plays to the City streets.

Following on from the first successful production in 1998, and the last in 2014, the Plays will again be presented on Pageant wagons, as was the medieval custom, moving through the streets of York to various playing stations, accompanied by musicians - a fantastic spectacle.

The 2014 production involved all sections of the community, nearly 600 people in all, to create hours of drama, free on the streets of York. Twelve wagons processed through the streets of York to perform their Play at four different locations.

In addition to the traditional Sunday performances on 9th and 16th September, the 2018 production will see a new, torchlit, mid-week, evening performance in the city centre and each playing station will be ‘themed’ allowing audiences to experience the plays in a different way.

Roger Lee, Chairman of York Festival Trust, said:

“Our past productions have met with great popular, academic and critical acclaim, and we hope to build on this success with our 2018 production. In their medieval hey day, the Plays and the Guilds were inextricably linked, and it is this heritage we are reclaiming with these regular 4 yearly productions.

The great medieval City of York absorbed the spirit of its times and evolved in these Plays its own version of artistic self-expression, and we hope that here in today’s City we can re-create something which draws on this tradition whilst still being relevant to our own times.

For 2018, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Straszewski as Artistic Director. Tom has been involved with the plays for many years and as a local Director will help us achieve this. We will work with various partners across the City to produce a festival of events making the Plays, their story, themes and message accessible to as many people as possible.”


Further information can be had from:

Roger Lee, 01904 646030,