A Nativity for York

Early in 2019 the Trust decided to stage an hour-long Christmas Nativity, drawing from the Plays making up the Nativity Cycle. This presented an opportunity for actors, musicians and stage crew to participate in the Christmas Festival, and for citizens and visitors to take time out of the Christmas frenzy to sit down and celebrate the story of Christmas in the heart of York.

A Nativity for York

2024 production

We want to stage our third production this year. The hour-long show will tell the story in a way that contrasts with previous productions. And this year we are moving out of the centre of York to the suburbs.  We want to give new audiences and potentially new cast members the chance to experience a Mystery Play in their home area while encouraging our members and supporters to join us at one of the new venues.

This will be a touring production staged at three York venues:  The Tithe Barn at Nether Poppleton, St James the Deacon church hall in Acomb and St Oswalds church hall in Fulford between 29 November and 7 December 2024 – 7 performances in all.

Want to direct?

The Committee has approved a director’s fee of £1000. You are expected to create the script, audition and rehearse on weekday evenings and weekend afternoons for a period of at least 8 weeks. Rehearsal venues have not yet been decided until a director is in post but can take place in the city centre with final rehearsals staged at each venue.

Next steps for interested parties:

If you are interested, email Linda Terry, Chair of YMPST at linda.terry@ympst.co.uk for an Information Pack which will provide more information about this opportunity. Any queries may also be directed to this address.

Applications should include initial ideas for Nativity for York on one side of A4 and a CV. We are planning to have discussions with shortlisted applicants on Saturday 18 May 2024. If you can’t make that date, don’t let it put you off.  Applications should be sent by email to linda.terry@ympst.co.uk.

The closing date for applications will be midnight on Friday 12 April 2024.

2022 production

Dedicated to promoting the York Mystery Plays in all manner of performance styles, A Nativity for York was staged again at Christmas 2022 with Alan Heaven as director, a new script and a new cast.

2019 production

The 2019 production, staged at the Spurriergate Centre in the city centre, was a great success drawing an audience of over 500.

Philip Parr, a widely experienced director of theatre, opera and festivals, chiefly as artistic director of Parrabbola, created a moving and contemporary drama.  Philip utilised the cafe environment of the Spurriergate Centre to create an element of surprise and audience participation.  The cast entered with the audience, taking up seats at the cafe tables, and from there, commenced the play.

Philip created the instrumental and vocal music for the play, using the skills of the cast to create the sound.  Dave al-Bahrani Peacock stage managed the production with costumes designed by Felip Gesse, Terry Ram acted as Associate Director with production by Leonie Hertig and Simon Tompsett.

We would like to thank everyone who supported the play by attending, donating funds, notably York Common Good Trust and the Feoffees of St Michael, Spurriergate – our thanks for their generous donations.

It was a great pleasure to work with the Spurriergate Centre team on our first production and our thanks go to them for their co-operation and commitment. Grateful thanks and congratulations go to our community actors, stage crew, photographers, publicity team and front of house team who worked so hard and enthusiastically to make it all happen.

A Nativity For York 2019
A Nativity For York 2019
A Nativity For York 2019
A Nativity For York 2019

Photos: Nick Ansell and John Saunders