11 May 2016
A Whale of a Project for the York Mystery Plays
Degree students studying 3D Contemporary Craft at York College have made a huge whale and schools of fish for the Creation scene in the 2016 Mystery Plays, to be staged at York Minster at the end of this month.
The enormous whale, sculpted out of cane and secured with cable ties, is 7.5 metres long. So far the whale alone has taken over 40 hours to make and, when completed, will be covered in plastazote and fabric.
Students Layla Eldon, Rachel Lacy, Tom Child and Janet Easton look forward to seeing their own creations as part of ‘The Creation’ in the largest community theatrical production to take place in York this year. Layla says: “It’s been a whale of a project, literally! We have enjoyed the challenge of making theatrical props which will tell the story so vividly and on such a large scale. The Creation scene will be big and colourful and it’s also our job to work with the designers and props team to make sure the whale and fish are used properly and to great effect.”
Max Jones, Designer for the York Mystery Plays is delighted with the students’ work, saying: "The level of craftsmanship shown in the animals York College are creating for the Mystery Plays pays credit to the student's skill and incredible talent. I'm extremely grateful for their involvement and look forward to seeing them being brought to life in the production."
The York Mystery Plays dramatise the greatest story ever told – from the creation of heaven and earth to the last judgement. The Plays will be staged at York Minster from Thursday 26th May to Thursday 30th June.
A group of first year Performing Arts Acting students from York College are also enjoying being in York’s Mystery Plays this year. Their performances will be acknowledged as part of their course and, in keeping with tradition, they will join a vast community cast working with one professional actor, supported by an army of backstage volunteers to create a unique spectacle, which will celebrate the city’s cultural heritage.
Photography credit: Duncan Lomax, Ravage Productions