York Mystery Plays

Mike Kenny

York Mystery Plays

The medieval cycle of York Mystery Plays has been told by the people of York for hundreds of years and is deeply embedded in the City's cultural heritage. From the creation to the last judgement, the history of humanity so far is undoubtedly the greatest story ever told. Drawing inspiration from the authentic texts this eternal battle between good and evil forces will be presented on an operatic scale under summer York skies and the brooding cosmos beyond. 4.2 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
York Mystery Plays

Omniscore:

Location York
Venue Museum Gardens
Director Damien Cruden & Paul Burbridge
Cast Ferdinand Kingsley, Graeme Hawley
From August 2012
Until August 2012
Box Office 01904 623568
 

The medieval cycle of York Mystery Plays has been told by the people of York for hundreds of years and is deeply embedded in the City's cultural heritage. From the creation to the last judgement, the history of humanity so far is undoubtedly the greatest story ever told. Drawing inspiration from the authentic texts this eternal battle between good and evil forces will be presented on an operatic scale under summer York skies and the brooding cosmos beyond.

Reviews

The Guardian

Alfred Hickling

The impressive Ferdinand Kingsley plays both God and Jesus, an interpretive risk that comes to fruition on the cross, where the forsaken figure appears to represent mankind's loss of faith in himself. Kenny's sensitive revision of the verse is taut and muscular, while the rhythmic boasting of Graeme Hawley's Lucifer ("the beams of my brightness are bigged with the best") suggests that the anonymous, middle-English wordsmiths had already sown the seeds of hip-hop.

16/08/2012

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The Stage

Will Ramsey

Backed by a wonderfully well-drilled group of community players - some 500 actors alternate the roles across the run - the production shimmers with life. There’s humour - including the entreaties of Noah for his formidable Yorkshire wife to board the ark - and spectacle: a massed choir; bursts of flame from a towering brazier; and an ingenious stage set which, with its multiple trap doors, allows the cast to pop up from, or down to, the Hell that waits beneath.

09/08/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Laura Thompson

At times the production also rivals the Olympics for sheer theatrical heft. The use of the crowd – all ages, dressed in everyday mid-20th century clothes – is breathtaking: for instance, the Flood is conjured by the simple expedient of surrounding Noah’s ark with a mass of people cowering beneath black umbrellas. There are two named actors, Ferdinand Kingsley as “God and Jesus” (a role that frankly puts Hamlet in the shade) and Graeme Hawley as Satan. Both do splendidly. Yet the real stars are that glorious band of amateurs.

14/08/2012

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The Times

Sam Marlowe

The production is exhilarating in scale and effervescently witty. At well over three hours it is long; sections of the second act could be excised. But, crucially, it feels rooted in its environment and in the lives and history of the local people participating and spectating. You feel a true link between this re-imagining and the pageantry presented by one of the medieval guilds; the effect is moving.

09/08/2012

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