SHOPPERS in York city centre will find themselves in the middle of a flashmob with a difference this weekend, as performing arts students stage impromptu medieval dance mobs.

The event, planned for Parliament Street and St Helen’s Square, is being planned by the York College students as part of the Residents Festival, but also as a prelim to the summer’s Mystery Plays spectacular.

Organisers of the Plays have also revealed tickets to the outdoor performances in the Museum Gardens in August will be sold at a special discount to local residents during the weekend.

A spokesman said up to 500 residents would be able to get ten per cent off when buying two tickets. All they needed to do was visit York Theatre Royal Box Office in person between 10am and 8pm on Saturday and between noon and 4pm on Sunday with a valid York Card.

Charlotte Dootson, marketing manager for York Museums Trust, said: “We hope the offer will encourage residents to come and see the Mystery Plays which have been part of the city’s culture for hundreds of years. This new version promises to be truly spectacular – with more than 1,200 volunteers helping us put on a dramatic, daring and fascinating theatre production.”

The college will also be holding Have A Go taster sessions during the weekend, open to all with a valid York Card, between 10am and noon and 1pm and 3pm, at different venues around the city.

At the Yorkshire Museum, residents can have a go at media make-up, theatrical and special effects make-up techniques, biblical crafts, learning more about stonemasonry and making medieval artefacts in carpentry, prop making and making masks for the Plays.

College media students are filming a documentary about the making of the Mystery Plays in York, and during the weekend they will be based in York Explore to film residents who have stories and memories to share about their involvement in previous Plays productions.