THE York Mystery Plays will be staged again on pageant wagons in the city’s streets next year - with an additional torch-lit evening performance being held for the first time.

Many hundreds of people from across the community look set to take part in the 2018 Plays, which are being organised by the York Festival Trust with the Guilds of York acting as the driving force.

Trust chairman Roger Lee said this would be their 20th anniversary, with the first successful production in 1998 and the last taking place in 2014.

He said: “The 2014 production involved all sections of the community, nearly 600 people in all, to create hours of drama, free on the streets of York.

“Twelve wagons processed through the streets to perform their Play at four different locations.

“The Plays will again be presented on pageant wagons this year, as was the medieval custom, moving through the streets of York to various playing stations, accompanied by musicians - a fantastic spectacle.”

Click here for a gallery of photos from past York Mystery Plays.

He said the traditional Sunday performances would take place on September 9 and 16, with each playing station ‘themed’ to allow audiences to experience the plays in a different way.

However, there would also be a new, torchlit, mid-week, evening performance in one location in the city centre, which he hoped might be within the food court at Shambles Market.

He said past productions had met with great popular, academic and critical acclaim, and the trust hoped to build on this with its 2018 production.

“In their medieval hey day, the Plays and the Guilds were inextricably linked, and it is this heritage we are reclaiming with these regular four- yearly productions,” he said.

“The great medieval City of York absorbed the spirit of its times and evolved in these Plays its own version of artistic self-expression, and we hope that here in today’s city we can re-create something which draws on this tradition whilst still being relevant to our own times.”

He said he was pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Straszewski as artistic director for 2018.

“Tom has been involved with the plays for many years and as a local director will help us achieve this,” he said.

“We will work with various partners across the city to produce a festival of events making the Plays, their story, themes and message accessible to as many people as possible.”

He added that anyone interested in becoming involved could attend a meet-up on Thursday, September 7, at 7pm in Bedern Hall and he could be contacted for further information by emailing him at