York & North Yorkshire

York stages Mystery Plays

Performers rehearsing a mystery play
Image caption The plays are said to be part of the city's cultural heritage

The centuries-old tradition of performing Mystery Plays on pageant waggons is returning to York.

About 600 people will be involved in staging the 12 plays, performed at four venues, as the waggons roll on to the city's streets this Sunday and next.

The plays were first performed in York in the 14th Century.

Ben Pugh, the plays' producer, said: "They are part of the city's cultural heritage and are stories that have stood the test of time."

'Universal tales'

The plays are described as telling the story of the world from the beginning of all things to the end of all things.

The performances traditionally took place on the feast day of Corpus Christi, which can fall in either May or June.

They were revived in the 1950s and Mr Pugh said modern audiences would see "great stories and universal tales" that had been performed since medieval times.

The first performance was due to start in Dean's Park, near the Minster, at 12:00 BST.

Volunteers then push the waggons to three more venues, with the last performance due to finish at about 19:00.

The York Festival Trust and the seven Guilds of York are also to perform the plays next Sunday.

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