Game of Thrones star to play Jesus in York Minster Mystery Plays

GAME of Thrones and Coronation Street star Philip McGinley will play the lead role in this summer's hotly-anticipated York Minster Mystery Plays.

Philip McGinley
Philip McGinley

The 34-year-old actor, who is currently starring in an adaptation of DH Lawrence’s Husbands and Sons at the National Theatre, will play Jesus in the cathedral’s production of the famous plays.

He will join the cast in York tomorrow (Sunday January 17) when all 200 plus community performers taking part in the plays will meet for the first time for the first full read through of the script at the cathedral’s St William’s College.

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York Minster’s Nave will be transformed into a 1,000-seater auditorium for five weeks of performances of the plays, which run from Thursday May 26 to Thursday June 30.

Tickets for the plays, which dramatise the greatest story ever told – from the creation of heaven and earth to the last judgement, went on sale this week.

McGinley said: “I’m hugely excited to be joining the cast of the York Minster Mystery Plays and I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the team and getting started with rehearsals on Sunday.”

“The chance to play Jesus at York Minster doesn’t come round very often, so I’m thrilled to have been chosen for the part. The Mystery Plays are world-famous and a huge part of the city and region’s cultural heritage, so it’s a fantastic project to be involved in and a rare chance to perform in a magnificent setting like York Minster.”

McGinley, who was born in Liverpool, is best known for his roles as archer Anguy in HBO series Game of Thrones and as Tom Kerrigan in Coronation Street.

He has also recently appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Great Expectations and ITV drama Home Fires.

Phillip Breen, director of the York Minster Mystery Plays, said: “I’m delighted Philip will be joining us in the lead role of Jesus - he’s a real rising star of the British theatre. His acting credentials range from film to major TV series, as well as numerous productions at major theatres so he brings a wealth of experience to the part and the wider production.”

Tickets are available by calling 01904 623568 or in person from York Theatre Royal’s Box Office at the De Grey Rooms in St Leonards Place, York, and York Minster’s visitor admission desks. Or go to