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Monday, 25 April 2016

They're a mystery and they're back at minster after 16 year-gap

York Minster's nave will be transformed into a 1,000-seater theatre this summer as the Mystery Plays return to the stage.

The plays dramatise the greatest story ever told – from the creation of heaven and earth to the last judgement. But it’s the first time in 16 years and only the second time in their near 700 year history that the plays have been performed at the minster, following sell-out performances in 2000.

The play run from 26 May to 30 June and feature lead actor Philip McGinley playing the role of Jesus. Philip, who was born in Lancashire, is best known for his roles as archer Anguy in HBO series Game of Thrones and as Tom Kerrigan in Coronation Street. Hundreds of members of the Yorkshire community are involved as cast members and behind the scenes including prop and costume making to stage building and make-up.

The 2016 production is being developed by an award winning artistic team, including director Phillip Breen, of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and writer Mike Poulton, who recently wrote the scripts for the RSC’s productions of Hilary Mantel’s global best-selling novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.

The York Mystery Plays date from medieval England and much of  the minster would have been in existence at the times the plays were first performed.

Dean of York Minster Vivienne Faull said: “After a gap of 16 years it is a great pleasure and enormously exciting to stage the Mystery Plays at York Minster again.

"The stories of the plays are stamped across the very fabric of the cathedral, from the carvings in the stonework to the stained-glass in the Great East Window, which depicts the cycles dramatised in the Plays. We hope experiencing the performances in such an extraordinary setting will be a truly moving experience.

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