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News Release - Issued by York Mystery Plays

York Mystery Plays 2014

After nearly four years of planning, York waggon plays are preparing to roll out onto the city streets to bring the medieval mystery plays to life once more. As an event that only happens every four years, and with hundreds of community participants including actors, set builders, waggon pushers and musicians, York Mystery Plays are a must see event in the summer calendar.

Mystery plays have been performed on wagons in the city of York since medieval times. This tradition of the Guilds of York bringing bible stories to the masses disappeared for a while but was then revived in the 90’s by York Festival Trust and they have been going from strength to strength ever since. In 2014, the York Festival Trust, which has been working on the Mystery plays for 15 years has engaged a new artistic director to build on the work of previous productions and to create from the 48 surviving scripts a fresh approach to this ancient tradition.

As great works of literature and drama, the York Mystery plays tell the story of the world from the beginning of all things to the end of all things. From the comedy of the play telling God’s creation of the world, to the joyous crowd scenes in Jerusalem, through to the brutal crucifixion, to the great set-piece dramas of the Harrowing of Hell and The Last Judgement.

Roger Lee, Chairman on York Festival Trust today said ‘we are looking forward to another bumper year – the 2010 plays were seen by over 2,000 people from all over the world, and this year we have expanded into the weeks between the Sunday performances with a festival that explores the plays and medieval music.’

Traditionally and to this day co-ordinated (and sometimes performed) by the Masters of the York Guilds and Companies, this is one of the largest voluntary events in the city with over 600 people taking part in 2010. The event traditionally comprises 12 stories told on pageant wagons that move between stations throughout the city with medieval musical processions in between. This year also sees the introduction of a Chorus specially commissioned for the 2014 cycle.

York Mystery Plays will be performed in York on Sundays 13th and 20th July 2014. 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. Tickets are available from there are no booking fees online. Or phone 0333 666 3366, there is a £1.50 admin fee on the phone. Or in person at the Merchant Adventurers hall, Fossgate, York from 10am – 4pm weekdays.


For more information, interviews or photographs please contact:

Lizzie Forbes-Ritte on

0788 4438152 or email

Editors Notes:


The York Mystery Plays

The plays and players:

The Play Brought forth by

1 Creation of the World to the Fifth Day The York Guild of Building

2 The Fall of Man The Gild of Freemen with Canon Lee School

3 The Angels and The Shepherds The Guild of Scriveners

4 The Slaughter of the Innocents Heslington Church

5 The Baptism HidDen Theatre

6 The Woman taken in Adultery and The Raising of Lazarus The University of York St John

7 The Entry into Jerusalem York Mystery Plays Supporters Trust

8 Christ before Annas and Caiaphas The Company of Cordwainers with the York Settlement Community Players


9 The Crucifixion and the Death of Christ The Company of Butchers with St. Chad’s Church

10 The Harrowing of Hell St. Luke’s Church

11 The Resurrection The Company of Merchant Taylors

12 The Last Judgement The Company of Merchant Adventurers with Pocklington School

The Playing Stations

Sun 13th July

Dean’s Park, York Minster (ticketed and free to view)

College Green (free to view)

King’s Square (free to view)

Kings Manor (ticketed and free to view)

Sun 20th July

Dean’s Park, York Minster (ticketed and free to view)

College Green (free to view)

St Sampson Square (free to view)

Museum Gardens (ticketed and free to view)

Deborah Pakkar Hull biography

Deborah Pakkar-Hull has nearly twenty years experience of working within applied and participatory drama and theatre. She started out as a community arts worker, followed by a stint as a drama teacher and youth theatre leader before moving into the applied performance field. She subsequently spent eleven years with The Play House, a well-respected Birmingham-based theatre company specialising in participatory theatre for young audiences, five years of which were as the company's Artistic Director. She now works on a freelance basis, combining work as a visiting Director for established companies such as Leeds-based Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah, together with work as a solo practitioner and University lecturer.

During her career Deborah has directed, devised and performed work in schools, youth, community and theatre settings, collaborated with a range of other artists, writers and companies and created site-specific work in a variety of locations including a vast storage facility housing artefacts from Birmingham City Museums and Galleries.

Deborah has a B.A (Honours) in Drama and English from the University of Surrey and an M.A in Drama and Theatre Education from the University of Warwick.