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News Release - Issued by York Mystery Plays

Music, Exhibitions and Italian Talami in a celebration of the
medieval world of the Mystery Plays.

As the waggons prepare to roll for the 2014 Mystery Plays, there is also music stirring as York Festival Trust prepare a Festival of things medieval in the week between the two Sunday performances from musical workshops to a medieval sound installation, the week will culminate in two wonderful but very different events on Saturday 19th July. The Italian Talami in Dean’s Park and a concert by the celebrated York Waits with Deborah Catterall.

The White Rose and the Red – Music from the Age of Richard III performed by York Waits will cover a selection of some of the top tunes from the second half of the 15th Century. This amazing band take their inspiration from the original Waits, moving this music out of the rarified atmosphere of the concert hall and putting it firmly back where it belongs. This fantastic live band have played their unpretentious, good time music across Europe and accompanied many national celebrations from Bosworth Field to Hampton Court Palace. Performed at St Denys Church in Walmgate, tickets cost from £13 and are available from

Also on Saturday 19th July there is the chance to see citizens from the town of Orsogna in Abruzzo, Italy who have travelled all the way to York to perform their Mystery Plays. Normally carried on the shoulders of the townsmen, these tableaux will be static and are accompanied by an explanatory exhibition. Free to view, the Talami will be in Dean’s Park from 3- 4pm on Sat 19th July.

As well as these highlights there are lots of opportunities to get involved. Dr Mariana Lopez has created a sound installation Hearing the Mystery Plays which will be at All Saints Church, Pavement from Tues 15th July to Sat 19th July 10am – 4pm, and there is the opportunity to hear her talk about her inspiration on Mon 14th July at 7.30pm at St Helen’s Church. Tickets cost £5. There are also pipe and tabour workshops for children and adults and also medieval music workshops. From 19th June until the end of July, there is a special Mystery Plays Exhibition created in partnership with and held at Holy Trinity in Micklegate, free to drop in.
Roger Lee, Chair of York Festival Trust today said: ‘This is the first Festival we have created to accompany the four yearly waggon plays which will bring to life the sights, sounds and music of the medieval world of the Mystery Plays. We are especially delighted that after being in invited to take a waggon across to Italy to share in their celebrations, York Festival Trust have managed to bring the Italian Talami to York to join in our Mystery Plays celebrations. This is the first time these tableaux have been seen outside Italy.

Further information on all aspects of the Festival and the 2014 Mystery Plays, including ticket prices and booking information are online at

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:

1 Booking details, playing stations times and ticket prices
2 The Plays and Players
3 The Festival – dates and locations
4 Deborah Pakkar Hull – Artistic Director, biography
5 York Festival Trust

1. York Mystery Plays 13th & 20th July 2014
The Playing Stations & ticket prices
Tickets cost £15 per part (Part 1 is plays 1-8, and Part 2 plays 9-12) tickets give you access to a covered seating area.

a. Sun 13th July
i. Dean’s Park, York Minster (ticketed and free to view) start 12 noon
ii. College Green (free to view) start 12.30pm
iii. King’s Square (free to view) start 1.15pm
iv. Kings Manor (ticketed and free to view) start 2pm

b. Sun 20th July
i. Dean’s Park, York Minster (ticketed and free to view) start 12 noon
ii. College Green (free to view) start 12.30pm
iii. St Sampson Square (free to view) start 1.15pm
iv. Museum Gardens (ticketed and free to view) start 2pm

Tickets are available from (no booking fee) by phoning 0333 666 6633 (£1.50 fee) in person at the Merchant Adventurers hall, Fossgate, York from 10am – 4pm weekdays.

2. 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

3. The Festival

Sat 12th July
1pm – 5pm Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate
Moresk Dance Workshop – the medieval origins of Morris led by Redding Moreys – tickets £7.50

4pm – 6pm Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate
Music for Mystery Plays (adults) loud instruments welcome– P&T Society – tickets £5

Mon 14th July
7.30pm – St Helen’s Church
Lecture: Hearing the Mystery Plays by Dr Marianna Lopez
Tickets £5

Tues 15th – Sat 19th July
10am – 4pm – All Saints, Pavement
Hearing the Mystery plays, weeklong drop-in
Free drop in

Weds 16th July
2.30pm – 4pm St Martin’s Coney Street
Pipe and Tabor workshop for beginners.
Tickets £15

Sat 19th July
2pm Central Methodist Church
Pipe and Tabor workshop for children
Tickets £6

3pm – 4pm – Dean’s Park, York Minster
Italian Talami
Free drop in

7.30pm – St Denys Walmgate
The Red Rose and the White, Music from the Age of Richard III – York Waits
Tickets £13/£15 and £5 for children

4. 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.

5. York Festival Trust
York Festival Trust, has been active the local community’s engagement with this unique Cycle of Mystery Plays for many years. Since 1998 they have staged quadrennial productions of the Plays, with the next productions being on the 13th and 20th July 2014.

These large scale productions of the plays on waggons performed at various locations throughout the City have met with popular, academic and critical acclaim, and involve around 600 people from a wide cross-section of the community. The involvement of the community is an essential part of York Festival Trust’s method of working.

They believe it is possible to help York understand its present through its past and we are committed to giving ordinary people the chance to do something extraordinary and the Trust intends working with various partners over the next 4 years to widen access to these extraordinary works of literature and drama which mean so much to so many people in York