There’s plenty of room at the Minster for this Mary and Joseph

Ruby Barker, 18, and Mark Comer, 57, will play Mary and Joseph in the York Mystery Plays next May.  Picture James Hardisty
Ruby Barker, 18, and Mark Comer, 57, will play Mary and Joseph in the York Mystery Plays next May. Picture James Hardisty
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CHRISTMAS may be over but this Mary and Joseph are already looking forward to next year.

But not next Yuletide, instead, the 2016 production of York Minster Mystery Plays.

Next May’s production will be the biggest event York minster has ever hosted, with its nave transformed into a 1000-seater auditorium for the performances.

And at its heart will be amateur actors Ruby Barker and Mark Comer, both from York, who will play Mary and Joseph in the Plays.

It’s the first time in 16 years, and only the second time in their near 700 year history that the Minster has hosted the Plays and as tradition dictates, the cast will be made up of community actors.

More than 200 performers will take part, including talented amateur performers from around the globe, as well as professionally trained actors returning to the stage after career breaks and rising stars, fresh out of drama school.

Around 50 children will also be part of the production, with the cast including some who performed in the Minster’s 2000 production. All were given an early Christmas present when they received news of their roles this week.

“York has a wealth of talented community performers and it’s been great to meet so many of them over the last few weeks,” said Director Phillip Breen.

“The audition process has been one of the most beautiful and life affirming things I’ve been involved in for years and we’re excited to now be confirming parts and starting rehearsals in the New Year.”

Tickets for the performances go on sale on January 13.