MORE than 31,000 tickets have now been sold for the York Mystery Plays , beating the 30,000 target set by organisers.

The three organisations behind the spectacular outdoor production in the Museum Gardens say the strong sales show that such a large-scale production is financially viable.

The news will boost hopes that the Plays may be staged again in the gardens in four years’ time, restoring the traditional four-year cycle which has been broken since the Plays were last performed there in 1988.

Organisers said in the programme for this year’s production that they hoped it would start a new cycle of presentation in the gardens.

York Theatre Royal, Riding Lights Theatre Company and York Museums Trust said in a statement yesterday that they were “incredibly pleased” to have exceeded their target of selling 30,000 tickets.

“It proves that there is a demand for putting on a production of this scale and ambition and, just as importantly, that they can be financially viable,” they said.

“There is now clear evidence of a market for these plays in the fabulous setting of the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey.”

The organisers said the practical and critical success of the plays owed a great deal to the enthusiasm and participation of so many members of the York community as volunteers.

“They have worked incredibly hard alongside our organisations and without them a production of this size would simply not have been possible.”

A spokesman said limited tickets were still available for some of the last few shows, including performances over the Bank Holiday weekend.

They canbe bought by phoning 01904 623 568 or going to