What’s Riding Lights Youth Theatre?
We are a York-based Youth Theatre that runs courses for young actors aged 11-18. Our three youth theatre companies meet weekly at the Friargate Theatre for skills workshops and rehearsals. We stage three full-length productions a year, with each group getting a chance to shine. In the past our youth theatres have been part of productions such as Macbeth, Around the World in 80 Days, and Grisly Grimm. This Easter our Junior Youth Theatre (11-14 years) will be staging It’s A Mystery – a collection of modern Mystery Plays.
Tell us about the plays that form It’s A Mystery.
It’s A Mystery is a collection of three plays devised by local writers, each putting their own unique spin on a classic Mystery Play text. In a Hole in the Ground (Tom Straszewski) explores the Incredulity of Thomas from deep inside a cave, without a clear way out. New Mysteries (Angie Millard) visits a police station for the interrogation of the disciples, and an investigation into the man who claims to be the Son of God. Flooded (Henry Raby) asks what might happen if there was a second flood. As the tides rise, it challenges its audience to think about the impact they are having on the world around them.
The three plays are very different in style and topic. What challenges have there been in rehearsing them?
The wide range of styles of play, and the characters within them, have provided our young actors with a great chance to develop their performance skills and range. I must say that they have more than risen to the task, meeting it with sheer enthusiasm. For me the challenge has been the vast range of settings that have needed to be brought to life. From a pitch black cave, through a grimy police station, and into a world that is being slowly ‘uncreated’ by water – we’ve had to get pretty creative with our staging!
Why do the Mystery Plays stay relevant?
The Mystery Plays have been a well-loved fixture of York hundreds of years. Every few years the plays bring communities together and serve to remind us that we are all part of a long heritage. As well as connecting us to our cultural heritage, I think they also contain messages that were not only relevant in their time, but also serve to reveal something about our present time. This is clear in the three modern mystery plays that make up It’s A Mystery. They each bring forward questions about how we engage with our beliefs, our society, and our planet.
In one sentence, why should we come and see It’s A Mystery?
This hour-long performance is jam-packed with playful acting, evolving worlds and moments that will leave you thinking long after the play finishes.
Performances of It’s A Mystery are:
Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd March 2018
Box Office: 01904 613000 or book online here