The York Mystery Plays are a theatrical spectacle performed by the communities of the City of York. Originally a set of 48 plays performed by the medieval Guilds of York, they illustrate the biblical history of the world from the Creation to the Last Judgement. They contain stories of delight, humour, horror, and resistance.
The Mysteries are a vital part of York’s heritage, but they’re not a museum piece, and they demand to be performed. We’ve got a huge range of people involved- butchers, builders, schoolkids, students, even a whole company of accountants. They’ve found something in the plays that they connect to- a push for freedom, the temptation of glory or worldly wealth, or even just the chance to dance and sing. We hope the audiences will respond just as heartily to their enthusiasm and talent.