York Mystery Plays

The York Millennium Mystery Plays

In 2000 a large-scale performance of the plays was staged in York Minster, known as The York Millennium Mystery Plays. Directed by Gregory Doran, and with Ray Stevenson in the role of Christ, the production was then the most expensive and wide-reaching project in the history of the plays' modern revival.[10] The first half began in Heaven with the story of the fall of Lucifer, followed by the creation of the world, the fall of Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark (with impressive and memorable representations of the animals and the flood) and the story of Abraham and Isaac. From the New Testament there came the annunciation and nativity of Jesus, the massacre of the innocents, Christ's childhood, baptism, temptation and ministry, and his entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The second half concentrated on the capture and trial of Christ, and his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. The production ended, as is traditional, with the Last Judgement.[15]

The production ran for a month, with a total audience of 28,000. Aside from the professional director and actor, Ray Stevenson, the cast was made up of amateurs, mainly from the York area. Over fifty children also took part in the play. Original music was written for the production by local composer, Richard Shephard.[10][15]


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