York Mystery Plays

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2022 Wagon Plays

On 19 and 26 June 2022 the Guilds of York performed eight plays on wagons, in four York locations. There were also two adapted performances in the Shambles Market, with the addition of Satan. The archive is grateful for these photographs, especially to John Saunders and Lewis Outing. More images on Jpegs are welcome, see the Contact Us tab on the left.
God creates the world
If you wish to see the cast of each play, go to this page in the archive.

Creation of the World by God, with choir and devils, outside St William's College. (York Guild of Building) Often produced with just one actor playinng God, in 2022 there was a large cast with devils and singing angels. Here is another image of that play, in St Helen's Square, before the Creation wagon has opened. Devils try to thwart Creation


Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve, with Satan and his snake, left. (York Gild of Freemen)
Here is a closer image of Satan's cunning snake, at a performance in the Shambles Market.The snake is cunning

God instructs Noah to build the Ark

God arrives to instruct Noah to build the Ark, left. The animals are brought aboard - the shields - and Noah gathers his family and wears his waterproof. But Mrs Noah is reluctant, right. Land is found and God sends the rainbow, below left. (York Mystery Plays Supporters Trust)
Mrs Noah besides the Ark

land found-rainbow

Herod and the Three Kings were combined with the Nativity in 2022. (St Luke's Church) Below in front of York Mansion House we see Herod with his attendants in his palace on the left. The Kings formally visit him, their servants standing below on the right. Three Kings

The wagon cleverly changes the backdrop, to show that the Kings go to Bethlehem. They give baby Jesus and his parents gifts, right, and angels sang and warned the Kings. (St Luke's Church)
Bethlehem and gifts
The 2022 production does not show the Massacre of the Innocents, Baptism or Ministry. Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem at Passover and is there with his disciples taking the Last Supper, here at the King's Manor. (The Lords of Misrule)
The last supper
But when the Supper takes place in the Shambles Market, Satan takes an interest, as he did with previous scenes. He is wearing a cap and apron, on the right. Last supper

Judas plans to betray Jesus, he tells the audience in the Shambles Market.
Judas shouts
The Crucifixion is a solemn moment. There is a special wagon strong enough to bear the weight of Jesus' body. (Riding Lights Theatre and Company of Butchers) Below in the Shambles Market, soldiers are hauling on the ropes of the lever which erects the cross; Jesus lies on it. The picture on the right shows the scene in the King's Manor. with another Jesus up on the cross.
hauling the cross

Jesus on the cross


Mary Magdalene is looking for Jesus' body and meets the gardener, who is the risen Christ. (Guild of Media Arts and Scriveners Gild)
Mary Magdalene and JesusMary Magdalene in garden

Christ assailed by souls
The production of the Last Judgement is always a very dramatic scene. God is in Heaven and is judging good and bad souls, all of whom are appealing for help. (Merchant Adventurers of York) Here Christ is outside York Mansion House, being assailed by souls. Below right, God in Heaven is in St Sampson's Square. Below is a professional film about that play, in various locations, with music (23 minutes, by Paint the Mouse) and cast list at the end. Below left, in the King's Manor, Satan is ready to swallow bad souls.last judgement