Mystery Play tickets go on sale – 15 months before opening

TICKETS will go on sale today for the first full-scale production of York’s world famous Mystery Plays to be staged in the city’s Museum Gardens for more than two decades.

A purpose-built theatre will give 1,400 audience members the chance to watch performances with the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey as a backdrop. The Mystery Plays have not been staged on this scale in the gardens since 1988.

The productions are being organised by York Theatre Royal, the Riding Lights Theatre Company and the York Museums Trust between August 2 and 27 next year.

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Artwork to promote the plays – which has taken York-based artist John Smyth four months to complete – was unveiled yesterday.

The Mystery Plays were first performed in the 14th century, but were abandoned during the Reformation.

They were revived in 1951 for the Festival of Britain and staged regularly until the early 1990s.

The Guilds of York became involved in 1994 and reclaimed the plays’ original heritage by staging them on wagons. The word mystery means trade or craft in medieval English, and can also be used to define a religious truth or rite.

The tickets will be available from the York Theatre Royal box office on 01904 623568.