COSTUMED characters from the planned York Mystery Plays of 2006 gave a special preview at its official launch.

The Lord Mayor of York, Coun Janet Looker, read out a proclamation at the gathering in Bedern Hall, Aldwark, which was attended by more than 50 guests.

Pupils from local schools also performed medieval music to set the scene.

The plays will be staged next year at four different locations - Deans Park, the Museum Gardens, College Green and either St Sampson's Square or St Helen's Square - between noon and 6pm on Sundays July 9 and 16.