THE crucifixion of Christ is to be graphically re-enacted next year when the Mystery Plays are once again staged in York.

The Guilds of York have announced details for the next of their quadrennial productions of the plays, which are performed on wagons pushed through the city centre.

They 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.

The guilds said the plays would include a graphic scene of the Crucifixion, plus 11 other scenes, including The Creation of the World, Herod and the Magi, the Temptation, the Entry into Jerusalem, the Harrowing of Hell, the Resurrection and meeting with Mary Magdalene and the Last Judgement.

Spokesman John Gallery said there would be a focus on education, experience and the opportunity for ordinary people to become involved with experienced actors in recreating the medieval mysteries. He said there would be a potential 106 speaking roles and it would also involve choral music.

Anyone interested in taking part should email him at, or phone 07967 032623.

Mr Gallery said the plays told the story of the Bible from Creation to the Last Judgement.

"They were first performed in York about 1350, abandoned 200 years later at the Reformation and revived again in 1951. "From 1994 the Guilds of York reclaimed their heritage by being involved at various levels supporting funding and finally staging the plays."

He said the seven York Guilds involved were the Merchant Adventurers, Taylors, Butchers, Corwainers, Builders, Scriveners and Freemen.

Pageant Master Mike Tyler said next year's plays would be "somewhat darker in tone" than the 2002 production. "There is a greater emphasis on the conflict between good and evil enacted within repeated confrontations between God/Christ and Lucifer/Satan."

The Evening Press launched a campaign in 2003 to Keep York Mystery Plays alive.

The campaign called for a revival of the major static performances of the plays in the Museum Gardens, where they were last performed in 1988.

Updated: 09:59 Friday, March 25, 2005