Produced by York Theatre Royal, Riding Lights Theatre Company and York Museums Trust and supported by City of York Council, York Mystery Plays returned to York Museum Gardens in spectacular style.
The plays are a significant part of York’s rich heritage and were first performed in the city in the 14th Century.
On the night I attended, The Potters Cast was led by Ferdinand Kingsley, playing God and Jesus, with former Coronation Street villain Graeme Hawley (who played John Stape) taking on the role of the Devil. The two leads were very much part of the whole team (a cast of more than 500) with the emphasis on everyone being part of the story.
This production has been billed as “ The biggest outdoor theatre production in the UK this year ”, and it’s certainly no idle boast.
Directors Damian Cruden and Paul Burbridge had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve, and working closely with writer Mike Kenny (who adapted the plays), composer Christopher Madin and Designer Sean Cavanagh have created a superb piece of Ensemble Theatre. I loved the clever use of simple, effective props, such as trees on small handcarts, stones, and steel bars, and umbrellas, all adding to the ebb and flow of the storytelling.
Mike Kenny cleverly adapted the plays so that they were pared down to three hours while still retaining the essence of the greatest story ever told.
The colourful costumes of the Angels worked particularly well, and came into their own in the Noah and the Flood scene.
The weather was wonderful as we all watched spellbound; the already magnificent backdrop of St Mary’s Abbey was enhanced even further by a superb sunset – Divine Lighting, before Richard G Jones’ imaginative Lighting Design took over as darkness fell.
As the Olympic looking torch burst into flame at the dramatic finale, the applause was warm and heart-felt – Go Team York! It made you proud to be British in what’s turning out to be a truly eventful year.
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
The Visit York 2013 Award nominations have been announced with York Mystery Plays 2012 up for 2 titles.
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
The marketing campaign for the York Mystery Plays 2012 has been shortlisted for a prestigious TMA award.