Mystery play

mystery playsmiracle playmiracle playsmysteriesmysteryEnglish mystery playsMiracleliturgical dramaAuto de los Reyes MagosChristmas Plays
Mystery plays and miracle plays (they are distinguished as two different forms although the terms are often used interchangeably ) are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe.wikipedia
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The Second Shepherds' Play

Second Shepherds' PlaySecunda Pastorum
Vernacular texts replaced Latin, and non-Biblical passages were added along with comic scenes, for example in the Secunda Pastorum of the Wakefield Cycle.
The Second Shepherds' Play (also known as The Second Shepherds' Pageant) is a famous medieval mystery play which is contained in the manuscript HM1, the unique manuscript of the Wakefield Cycle.

Church (building)

churchchurcheschurch building
Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song.
Besides serving as a place of worship, the cathedral or parish church was frequently employed as a general gathering-place by the communities in which they were located, hosting such events as guild meetings, banquets, mystery plays, and fairs.

York Mystery Plays

YorkYork cycleYork Mystery Cycle
The most complete is the York cycle of forty-eight pageants; there are also the Towneley plays of thirty-two pageants, once thought to have been a true 'cycle' of plays acted at Wakefield; the Ludus Coventriae, now generally agreed to be a redacted compilation of at least three older, unrelated plays, and the Chester cycle of twenty-four pageants, now generally agreed to be an Elizabethan reconstruction of older medieval traditions.
The York Mystery Plays, more properly the York Corpus Christi Plays, are a Middle English cycle of 48 mystery plays or pageants covering sacred history from the creation to the Last Judgment.

N-Town Plays

Ludus CoventriaeN-TownUnknown
The most complete is the York cycle of forty-eight pageants; there are also the Towneley plays of thirty-two pageants, once thought to have been a true 'cycle' of plays acted at Wakefield; the Ludus Coventriae, now generally agreed to be a redacted compilation of at least three older, unrelated plays, and the Chester cycle of twenty-four pageants, now generally agreed to be an Elizabethan reconstruction of older medieval traditions.
The N-Town Plays (also called the Hegge Cycle and the Ludus Coventriae cycle) are a cycle of 42 medieval Mystery plays from between 1450 and 1500.

Chester Mystery Plays

ChesterChester CycleChester Mystery Cycle
The most complete is the York cycle of forty-eight pageants; there are also the Towneley plays of thirty-two pageants, once thought to have been a true 'cycle' of plays acted at Wakefield; the Ludus Coventriae, now generally agreed to be a redacted compilation of at least three older, unrelated plays, and the Chester cycle of twenty-four pageants, now generally agreed to be an Elizabethan reconstruction of older medieval traditions.
The Chester Mystery Plays is a cycle of mystery plays originating in the city of Chester, England and dating back to at least the early part of the 15th century.

Coventry Mystery Plays

Coventry cyclecycle acted at CoventryThe Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors
Also extant are two pageants from a New Testament cycle acted at Coventry and one pageant each from Norwich and Newcastle upon Tyne.
The Coventry Mystery Plays, or Coventry Corpus Christi Pageants, are a cycle of medieval mystery plays from Coventry, West Midlands, England, and are perhaps best known as the source of the "Coventry Carol".

Ordinalia

Origo Mundi
Besides the Middle English drama, there are three surviving plays in Cornish known as the Ordinalia, and several cyclical plays survive from continental Europe.
The Ordinalia are three medieval mystery plays dating to the late fourteenth century, written primarily in Middle Cornish, with stage directions in Latin.

Pageant wagon

While the Chester pageants are associated with guilds, there is no indication that the N-Town plays are either associated with guilds or performed on pageant wagons.
A pageant wagon is a movable stage or wagon used to accommodate the mystery and miracle play cycles of the 10th through the 16th century.

Corpus Christi (feast)

Corpus ChristiFeast of Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi procession
These cycles were often performed during the Feast of Corpus Christi and their overall design drew attention to Christ's life and his redemption for all of mankind.
In medieval times in many parts of Europe, Corpus Christi was a time for the performance of mystery plays.

Middle Ages

medievalmediaevalmedieval Europe
Mystery plays and miracle plays (they are distinguished as two different forms although the terms are often used interchangeably ) are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe.
1361). Theatre also developed in the guise of miracle plays put on by the Church.

Mystery Play of Elche

Misteri d'ElxMystery Play of ElxEl Misteri d'Elx
The Misteri d'Elx (in English, the Elx Mystery Play or Mystery Play of Elx) is a liturgical drama dating from the Middle Ages which has been enacted and celebrated every year without any known interruptions.
The two-act mystery play is performed annually on 14 and 15 August in the Basilica de Santa María in the city of Elche.

Harrowing of Hell

Descent into HellChrist's descent into helldescending into Hell
The Harrowing of Hell, derived from the apocryphal Acts of Pilate, was a popular part of the York and Wakefield cycles.
The richest, most circumstantial accounts of the Harrowing of Hell are found in medieval dramatic literature, such as the four great cycles of English mystery plays which each devote a separate scene to depict it, or in passing references in Dante's Inferno.

Wakefield

Wakefield, YorkshireLupsetWakefield Rural District
The most complete is the York cycle of forty-eight pageants; there are also the Towneley plays of thirty-two pageants, once thought to have been a true 'cycle' of plays acted at Wakefield; the Ludus Coventriae, now generally agreed to be a redacted compilation of at least three older, unrelated plays, and the Chester cycle of twenty-four pageants, now generally agreed to be an Elizabethan reconstruction of older medieval traditions.
Wakefield is also known for the Wakefield Cycle, a collection of 32 mystery plays, dating from the 14th century, which were performed as part of the summertime religious festival of Corpus Christi and revived in recent times.

Quem quaeritis?

Quem QuaeritisVisitatio sepulchriQuem quaeritis Trope
The Quem quaeritis? is the best known early form of the dramas, a dramatised liturgical dialogue between the angel at the tomb of Christ and the women who are seeking his body.
Although short, this excerpt of text would later snowball into a huge body of religious medieval plays, and evolve into various genres, such as liturgical drama and mystery plays.

The Mysteries

MysteriesThe Mystery PlaysThe Passion
In 1977 the National Theatre commissioned Tony Harrison to create The Mysteries, a re-working of the Wakefield Cycle and others.
The Mysteries is a version of the medieval English mystery plays first presented at London's National Theatre in 1977.

Plen-an-gwary

Plain an GwarryPlain-an-gwarryPlain-an-gwarry (theatre)
Cornish language miracle plays were performed in plain-an-gwarrys.
Cornwall culture had a type of play called miracle plays, written in the Cornish language, that were meant to spread Christianity.

The Brome play of Abraham and Isaac

The Brome Abraham and IsaacAbraham and IsaacThe Brome Abraham
Additionally, a fifteenth-century play of the life of Mary Magdalene, The Brome Abraham and Isaac and a sixteenth-century play of the Conversion of Saint Paul exist, all hailing from East Anglia.
It is not known whether the play was originally part of a larger cycle of mystery plays or if it stood by itself, as Osborn Waterhouse of the Early English Text Society believed (though he conceded that it was to be supposed “that the stage was the usual pageant, and the mode of performance practically identical with that of the regular cycle plays”).

Tony Harrison

Harrison, Tony
In 1977 the National Theatre commissioned Tony Harrison to create The Mysteries, a re-working of the Wakefield Cycle and others.
Adaptation of the English Medieval Mystery Plays, based on the York and Wakefield cycles, The Mysteries, were first performed in 1985 by the Royal National Theatre.

Chester

Chester, EnglandCity of ChesterChester, Cheshire
The local cycles were revived in both York and Chester in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain, and are still performed by the local guilds.
A series of festivals is organised in the city, including mystery plays, a summer music festival and a literature festival.

Medieval theatre

medieval dramaMedievaldrama
Medieval theatre covers all drama produced in Europe over that thousand-year period and refers to a variety of genres, including liturgical drama, mystery plays, morality plays, farces and masques.

Lichfield

City of LichfieldLichfield, Staffordshirecentre of the city
and in 1994 the Lichfield Mysteries were revived (now the biggest community theatre event in the United Kingdom).
Triennially the Lichfield Mysteries, the biggest community theatre event in the country, takes place at the Cathedral and in the Market Place.

Lincoln Mystery Plays

Lincoln cycleThe Lincoln Mystery Cycle
The N-Town cycle was revived in 1978 as the Lincoln mystery plays,
The Lincoln Mystery Plays are modern performances of medieval mystery plays and other productions in Lincoln Cathedral and the surrounding area.

Wakefield Mystery Plays

Wakefield CycleTowneley CycleWakefield
Vernacular texts replaced Latin, and non-Biblical passages were added along with comic scenes, for example in the Secunda Pastorum of the Wakefield Cycle. The most complete is the York cycle of forty-eight pageants; there are also the Towneley plays of thirty-two pageants, once thought to have been a true 'cycle' of plays acted at Wakefield; the Ludus Coventriae, now generally agreed to be a redacted compilation of at least three older, unrelated plays, and the Chester cycle of twenty-four pageants, now generally agreed to be an Elizabethan reconstruction of older medieval traditions. In 1977 the National Theatre commissioned Tony Harrison to create The Mysteries, a re-working of the Wakefield Cycle and others.
The Wakefield or Towneley Mystery Plays are a series of thirty-two mystery plays based on the Bible most likely performed around the Feast of Corpus Christi probably in the town of Wakefield, England during the late Middle Ages until 1576.

Royal National Theatre

National TheatreLyttelton TheatreNational Theatre Company
In 1977 the National Theatre commissioned Tony Harrison to create The Mysteries, a re-working of the Wakefield Cycle and others.

Daniel MacPherson

The large cast also included Daniel MacPherson, Thomas James Longley and Joseph McManners.
This was a drama based on a medieval mystery play cycle in which every scene moved to a different part of Canterbury Cathedral.