York Mystery Plays

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Key roles and actors

Below is are listed the Directors and (in order of appearance) the core roles of God, Satan and Beelzebub, Mary the Virgin and the Mother, and Jesus.  

If you wish to know who played other parts, look in the programmes in the searchable archive or contact the archivist at the NCEM.
Director
1951, 1954, 1957: Martin E Browne
1960: David Giles
1966: Martin E Browne
1969, 1973: Edward Taylor
1976: Jane Howell
1980: Patrick Garland
1984: Toby Robertson
1986 and 1987: Simon Tompsett (Arts Centre Micklegate)
1988: Steven Pimlott (Museum Gardens)
1992: Ian Forrest (Theatre Royal)
1994: Jane Oakshott (Wagons)
1996: John Doyle (Theatre Royal)
1998: Jane Oakshott (Wagons)
2000: Gregory Doran (Minster Millennium Production)
2002: Mike Tyler (Wagonmaster)
2006: Mike Tyler (Wagonmaster)
2010: Lesley Wilkinson and Paul Toy (Wagons)
2012: (Museum Gardens) Damien Cruden and Paul Burbridge
2014: (Wagons) Deborah Pakkar-Hull

When performed in the traditional way on wagons, there is more than one actor playing these roles.  
God the Father:
1951: Not credited in programme
1954: John Jacob
1957: Frank Shelley
1960: Robert Eddison
1963: William Gaskill
1966: John Westbrook
1969: Peter Blanshard, Gerald Lomas, John White played God, Jesus and Judas in rotation. Until then the role of Jesus had been thought to be too gruelling for an amateur actor.
1968 cutting on combining roles1973, 1976: David Johnson
1980: James Park
1984: Keith Jefferson
1986: Charles Kightly
1988: Jon Lacy-Colson
1992: Roger Farrington
1994: Richard Coyle, Tessa Norton
1996: Ruth Ford
1998: (Wagons) Brian Wilson, Steve Bielby, Malcolm Smith, Brian Graystone, John M. Hall
2000: John M. Hall (Minster Millennium production: full cast list here)
2002 (Wagons): Brian Wilson, Steve Bielby,(Voice) Edward Corner, James Sheppard, Owain Davies; Robyn MacNamara; Ruth Ford, Jack O'Brien
2006 (Wagons): James Bailey, Brian Wilson, Philippa Grainger, Ruth Ford, Tim Holman
2010 (Wagons): Steve Bielby; Sean O'Brien; Ed Brindley
2012 (Museum Gardens) : Ferdinand Kingsley (Full cast list here)
2014 (Wagons): Steve Bielby, Taylor Sanderson, Charles Hunt, Alan Heaven
Lucifer, Beelzebub
1951: John van Eyssen, Peter Ellis
1954: John van Eyssen, John Pickles
1957: Robert Rietty, Gerald Morden
1960: Harold Lang, Michael Beckham
1963: Ian McShane, Jack Brook
1966: David Henshaw, Philip Barnes
1969: Christopher Butchers, James Duguid
1973: Joseph Copley
1976: Raymond Platt, Chris Woodcock
1980: Peter Jackson, Alan Inglis
1984: Philip Tait
1986: Brian Higginson (Yorkshire Mysteries in Arts Centre)
1988: David McDade/Paul Masterson
1992 (Theatre Royal): Jonathan Mellor
1994 The nine wagon plays did not feature Satan; Gemma Cairns (in Citizens' Play)
1996 (Theatre Royal): David Parkinson
1998 (Wagons): Helen Evans, Sam Valentine, Mike Tyler, Lesley Wilkinson
2000: (Minster Millennium Production) Rory Mulvihill, John Roden
2002: Neil Ward, Emma Jane Wheelan, Tim Holman
2006 (Wagons): Fran Coleman, Dan Noake, Alan Lyons, Sam Valentine, Charles Hunt
2010 (wagons): Charlotte Terry; Charles Hunt; Josh Baines
2012 (Museum Gardens): Graeme Hawley; Catherine Edge, Liberty Hutchinson
2014 (Wagons):Ben Franks, Willow Pollock, Mark Comer, James Harrison, Sam Ryan
 
Mary the Virgin, Mary the Mother
1951: Mary Ure
1954: Jean Buckle
1957: Judi Dench
1960: Louise Liversidge
1963: Morag Butler, Edna Shann
1966: Loretta Ward, Henzie Raeburn
1969: Teresa Forbes Adam
1973: Andree Pugsley, Mavis Deighton (below, Mary and Jesus are visited by the Magi, 1973)
1976: Jo Woollons, Betty Doig
1980: Penn Charles, Edna Shann
1984: Jane Snowden
1986: Ruth Garside (Yorkshire Mysteries in Arts Centre)
1988: Sue Parkinson
1992: (Theatre Royal): Kate Thomson
1994 (wagons): Emily van Evera (Annunciation) Lynn Bourke (Nativity), Freda Ward (Way to Calvary), Julia Gregory (Assumption of Mary)
1996: Lauren O'Rooke Walker, Gwyneth Young
1998 (Wagons): Annette Mariette, Chloe Oaks, Anne Cooper
2000 (Minster Millennium Production): Frances Marshall, Julie Craggs
2002: Elisabeth Reddish; Briony Garety; Lottie Alexander;
2006 (Wagons): Katherine King, Lindsay Townsend, Aimie Neighbour
2010 (Wagons): Claire Morley; Pam Jackson Vickers, Marion Goodrick
2012 (Museum Gardens) This year the community players were in two teams: Lydia Onyett, Rachel Price; Jane Allanach, Melanie Dagg-Robinson 
2014 (Wagons): Marion Goodrick
Jesus
1951, 1954: Joseph O'Conor
1957: Brian Spink
1960: Tom Criddle
1963: Alan Dobie (The archive needs his photograph: do you have one?)
1966: John Westbrook
1969: Peter Blanshard, Gerald Lomas and John White played God, Jesus and Judas in rotation
1973: John-Stuart Anderson
1976: David Bradley
1980: Christopher Timothy
1984: Simon Ward (Can any user of this site provide a good photograph of this actor?)
1987: several, including Martin Bartlett
1988: Victor Banerjee
1992 (Theatre Royal): Robson Green
1994 (Wagons): Mark Comer, Brian Graystone, Anthony Curtis
1996 (Theatre Royal): Rory Mulivihill
1998 (Wagons): Graham Hudson, Kit Bird, Julian Rendell, Mark Reilly, Roger Dixon, Robert Jason Wright, John Gray
2000 (Minster Millennium Production): Ray Stevenson
2002: (Wagons) Bob Cummings; John Sharpe; Christian Newton; Adrian Widdowson; John Gray
2006 (Wagons): Josh King, Ben Fogarty, Tom Frere, Robert Jeffs, Kit Bird, Paul Stonehouse
2010 (Wagons): Mark Burghagen, Mike Tyler, Andie Cowan; Robert Goldsborough, Neil Tattersall, Adrian Widdowson, Tomas Moore
2012 (Museum Gardens): Ferdinand Kingsley
2014 Wagons: Charlie Johnston, John Hoyland, Ehren Mierau, Laurence O'Reilly, James Osman, Martin Sheppard, Hugh Stubbins

Below: The Magi (Ken Brown, Hugh Sweeny, Arthur Naylor) visit Mary (Andree Pugsley) Joseph (Peter Aughton) and the Christchild, 1973.                                                                              Back to The People
1973-magi