What are the York Mystery Plays?
The York Mystery Plays are a theatrical spectacle performed by the communities of the City of York, the Plays will return to the city in June 2022; on 19th and 26th at various locations across the City.
On 22nd and 23rd June special midsummer performances will take place as the Mysteries return to the Market Place in Shambles with audiences able to experience 5 Plays in this unique setting.
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 this summer as the waggons roll once more.