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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Minster's all set for Mystery Plays

A 200-strong community cast will take to the stage as the Mystery Plays return to the dramatic setting of York Minster for the first time in 16 years.

The plays date back to medieval times and dramatise the story from the creation of heaven and earth to the last judgement.

The cast includes professionally trained actors and actresses returning to the stage after career breaks, from ambulance drivers to former company directors, and the rising stars of the future fresh out of drama school. Many of the performers were involved with the 2012 York Mystery Plays and York Minster’s production in 2000.

The productions are being staged from 26 May until 30 June.

Toby Gordon, from Clifton in York, takes on the role of Lucifer. After graduating from drama school Lamda in 2014, he has already had the opportunity to work alongside Oscar winning Juliette Binoche in Antigone at the Barbican. He also appeared in the 2012 York Mystery Plays and in Anthony Minghella’s Two Planks and a Passion at York Theatre Royal.

Mother and daughter Loretta Smith and Ottilie Hill-Smith hail from Green Hammerton. Loretta, who is playing Martha, went to drama school and is now an ambulance driver who is “hoping that starring in the plays will help her get her foot back in the theatre door.” Daughter Ottilie, playing Raven’s First Daughter and understudying Mary, has been singing since the age of three and is also seeking a career in the performance industry.

Bob Mallow, from Harrogate, is playing Adam and, a few months away from his 60th birthday, came late to acting after a career in the corporate world, travelling the globe as a director with DHL international. Despite being bitten by the acting bug at school, it wasn’t until age 45 that he returned to college and completed a drama course. Over a fifteen year period he has since appeared as Jeffery Rawlings in Emmerdale, John Proctor in the Crucible and Macbeth, along with numerous other TV, theatre and film roles.

Producer Nicola Corp said: "Our volunteers are the people who make the production happen. It’s been a Yorkshire-wide community effort to bring these epic plays to fruition with people from throughout the region featuring in the cast and busy working behind the scenes.

"It is wonderful to see this hard work from both volunteers and professionals coming together for a spectacular show within the dramatic setting of York Minster. It is absolutely the must-see event in York this summer.”

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