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Thursday, 2 June 2016

It's no mystery why these Minster plays are securing serious praise

The York Minster Mystery Plays are off to a strong start thanks to a series of strong reviews praising all aspects of the production ranging from the actors and costumes to the stunning set, music and lighting.

The plays opened on the feast of Corpus Christi and tell the story of good versus evil, life and death and love, betrayal, hope and loss. Staged in the Minster for only the second time in 700 years, the plays are etched into the fabric of the cathedral including the beautiful stained glass of the East Window and the intricate carvings and stone.

Organisers say it's an opportunity for audiences to see the extraordinary plays brought to life against the historic backdrop of the Minster which has been transformed into a 1,000 seater theatre.

The community cast of more than 150 actors from across the region is led by one paid professional actor, Philip McGinley, playing the role of Jesus. The epic stage and set design, costumes and make-up have all been developed by an award-winning production team; Director Phillip Breen, of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and writer Mike Poulton, who wrote the scripts for the RSC’s productions of Hilary Mantel’s global best-selling novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.

MEMORABLE
Mark Smith of the British Theatre Guide described the plays as a production of memorable spectacle while the Guardian gave it four our of five stars. Regional reviewers have been quick to heap praise, too.

Vivienne Faull, Dean of York Minster, said: “We’re really proud of these fantastic reviews and being able to share these epic stories that are such an integral part of our history with the York community and visitors to our wonderful city.

"This success is thanks to amazing team work and the community pulling together to support each other, backed up by an enormously talented production team.  We hope audiences will enjoy the show and will leave personally inspired by the stories and setting of York Minster.”

The plays run until 30 June. Further information:  www.yorkminster.org/mysteryplays

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