About York Mystery Plays

Written by Mike Kenny
Directed by Damian Cruden & Paul Burbridge
Designed by Sean Cavanagh
Lighting Designed by Richard G Jones
Music Composed by Christopher Madin
with costumes designed by Anna Gooch


HRH The Duke of York, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, Dame Judi Dench & Harry Gration


The medieval cycle of York Mystery Plays has been performed by the people of York across the centuries and is a world-famous part of the city’s cultural heritage.

From Creation to the Last Judgment, these plays form one of the greatest stories ever told. In summer 2012 the story of God, of man and woman and of the cosmic struggle between good and evil will be presented on an epic scale against the magnificent backdrop of St Mary's Abbey.

For the first time since 1988 in a production of this size, the Plays will return to York Museum Gardens, where a 1400-seat covered theatre will be constructed within the ancient walls of the Abbey.

The cast will be led by Ferdinand Kingsley, playing God and Jesus, and former Coronation Street villain Graeme Hawley (who played John Stape) as the Devil. 


Taking place in the same year that London hosts the Olympic Games, this international event will also be a major part of York’s 800th anniversary celebrations of the granting of its Civic Charter. An exciting festival atmosphere will be created both in the Gardens and throughout the city, with entertaining fringe events and a celebration of the best of Yorkshire food and drink.

Presented by York Theatre Royal, Riding Lights Theatre Company and York Museums Trust and supported by City of York Council, this bold, accessible adaptation of the Plays is by York writer Mike Kenny, who also adapted E. Nesbitt’s The Railway Children for the Olivier award-winning production by York Theatre Royal and the National Railway Museum.

Over 1,000 people from the local community have joined with a team of professional artists and technicians to create this spectacular production.

A Mystery Plays archive was created as part of the 2000 production in York Minster and can be found at www.yorkmysteryplays.org


Book Tickets

Recent News

Join us at the Visit York Tourism Awards!

Join us at the Visit York Tourism Awards!
Were you a York Mystery Plays 2012 volunteer? Do you want to join us at the Visit York Tourism Awards 2013?

2012 Production Nominated For 2 Awards

2012 Production Nominated For 2 Awards
The Visit York 2013 Award nominations have been announced with York Mystery Plays 2012 up for 2 titles.

York Mystery Plays Supporters Trust formed

York Mystery Plays Supporters Trust formed
A group of people involved in York Mystery Plays 2012 launch a new group to support future productions.

York Mystery Plays 2012 shortlisted for award

York Mystery Plays 2012 shortlisted for award
The marketing campaign for the York Mystery Plays 2012 has been shortlisted for a prestigious TMA award.