The "Facts" Regarding the ME "Cycles," ca. 1956

• Play cycles the norm--every village and town would have had its own cycle
• Episodes included encompass events from Creation to Doom
• Productions performed processionally during Corpus Christi festival (2 months after Easter)

York cycle:

• Fully developed by 1376
• Only manuscript text dated 1420
• Performed on pageant wagons on the streets of York
• Controlled by the guilds
• Performed by guilds
• Performed at processionally Feast of Corpus Christi

Chester cycle:

Wakefield cycle (Towneley plays):

Ludus Coventriae (N-Town or Hegge cycle?):

The origins of the "Coventry" cycle have long been open to debate; even before the 1950s scholars recognized that the "Ludus Coventriae," Cottonian MS Vespation D. 9.viii, was not the manuscript for the Corpus Christi play(s) at Coventry. All early reports suggested Corpus Christi was a processional production whereas the N-Town plays were clearly meant for stationary production.


The "Facts" Regarding the ME "Cycles," ca.
2006

• Play cycles are rare––the only extant cycles ar York and Chester; other manuscripts merely contain collections of biblical plays
• No norm in episodes or styles of performance
s
• Performances also done at times of year other than Corpus Christi

York cycle:

Chester cycle:

Wakefield "Corpus Christi Play":

Towneley plays:

N-Town or Hegge plays:


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