What are the York Mystery Plays?
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 Christian history of the world from the Creation to the Last Judgement. They contain stories of delight, humour, horror, temptation and resistance.
After several centuries lying dormant, the plays were resurrected in the 20th century with performances in the York Museum Gardens, performed by massive casts drawn from York’s community. Over time, many different groups and venues have hosted the tradition. In the 1990s, the Guilds of York reclaimed their heritage by producing a set of plays on waggons, as their medieval ancestors once did.
Whilst the plays belong to anyone in York who takes an interest in them, the Guilds and Companies are privileged to help bring the Plays to a new generation. We hope you will join us in 2018 as the waggons roll once more.