Below are illustrations of some of the notable people who have been involved in the York Mystery Plays since 1951. The attached page lists people performing key roles, and the Archive holds every programme and every castlist.
Click here for a castlist from the Millennium production in the Minster
Click here for a castlist of the 2012 production
Click here for a castlist of the 2014 Wagons
Click here for the castlist of the 2016 production in the Minster
God: 2010 (and other years)
Jesus: 1976. A York man who became a professional actor
E. Martin Browne
Director: 1951, 1954, 1957, 1966
Angel of the Resurrection: 1954 (also Angel: 1951 and Mary: 1957); Wagon Plays patron
Actor, Props and Wardrobe since 1974.
Director: 2000 (Minster Millennium production)
God: 2002 (also God 1996 and various roles since 1973)
Very Rev Ray Furnell, Dean of York
Chairman: Millennium production in York Minster
1992: Jesus (Robson Green) tempted by Lucifer (Jonathan Mellor)
Wardrobe: 1994, but various roles including Treasurer of Festival Trust
God: 2000 (and other roles in other years)
curator of York Art Gallery and Asst. Director, 1951 Festival
Lazarus: 1957 (and Judas 1951, 1954)
Herod: 2012 (and numerous roles including Annas, 2016)
Jane Oakshott MBE
Director: 1994, 1998
Jesus: 1951, 1954
Set designer: 1969 (also photographer and donor to NCEM archive)
Composer and Musical Director: 2000 and 2016
Citizen: 1960 (far left) She has played various roles and donated photographs and scrapbooks to the NCEM archive.
Director of Movement: 1951, 1954, 1957
Jesus: 2000 (Minster Millennium production)
Director: 1969, 1973
Jesus: 1980 (He also opened the Play as 'Nick the Carpenter', an Everyman figure.)
Jesus: 1984 (photo from 1988 programme)
This guide shows just some of the many individuals who have taken part in York Mystery Plays over the years. We would like to add to it. For instance, our archive has no picture of Alan Dobie playing Jesus in 1963. Can you help?
Professional actors who started their careers in the York Mystery Plays are known to include: Judi Dench, Jane Snowdon, David Bradley, John White (stage name = Richard Conway), Edward Petherbridge, Mary Ure, Janet McTeer, Richard Coyle, Toby Gordon, Joe Hopper. The NCEM would like to extend this list.
If you have any archival material (no matter how small) which you would like to share with the archive volunteer at the National Centre for Early Music, please see the Contact Us page.