York Mystery Plays Escorted Tours
Escorted group tour by train to the historic York Mystery Plays
The York Mystery Plays will take place in 2016 in the city's Museum Gardens, against a backdrop of the magnificent ruins of St Mary's Abbey. Telling the stories of the Old and New Testaments from the Creation through to the Last Judgement, the plays will be performed by well-known professional actors, who will be joined by a large cast of amateur actors from across the city of York.
The 2016 production follows a long history of Mystery Plays in York, with the first recorded performance being in 1376. Traditionally the plays were divided into a number of small pageants: each pageant was performed by one of the many Craft Guilds of York. At this time, the Mystery Plays were performed on the back of carts and wagons which travelled through the city in a long procession, stopping at various places along the way for the cast to present their play to the assembled audiences.
Having been suppressed just after the Reformation in the 16th century, the York Mystery Plays were revived in 1951 for the Festival of Britain when they were performed for the first time in the Museum Gardens. The Mystery Plays remained in the Museum Gardens for a number of years until they moved to the Theatre Royal and then, for the millennium, the awe-inspiring surroundings of York Minster. Back to the spectacular setting of the Museum Gardens for 2016, the York Mystery Plays will be presented to large audiences of over 1,000 at each performance and promise to be a truly spectacular event that should not be missed.