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It's a Mystery...

Easter time is traditionally associated with the performance of Mystery Plays. One of the earliest established forms of drama in western Europe, in the UK these grew in popularity during medieval times (1200's onwards) and told (often a little irreverently) tales from the Bible - from the Creation and Adam and Eve all the way through to the Passion.

We don't know who wrote them originally - it was probably monks - but a tradition grew up around town's guilds (dress makers, bakers, builders etc) all taking part of the story and performing them on pop up stages or carts around the town whilst the public moved from place to place, often increasingly inebriated (actors and audience).

We still have scripts surviving from Wakefield, Coventry, Chester, although the York Cycle is the most complete with 48 little 'playlets'.

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