Can you create your own?
To help you get started, a modern-spelling script of this play can be downloaded by clicking here.
The ninteenth play from the York Corpus Christi Plays sees the culmination of the nativity sequence, and the return of King Herod to slaughter the infant threat to his rule. The guild responsible- the Girdlers and Nailers- made belts and nails. Further investigation is needed into why the two were linked together, and why they were part of this play.
The play's dramatic qualities have proved popular in recent productions, both on the waggons and in the combined productions in the Minster and Museum Gardens. The role of Herod in particular gives the opportunity to steal the show, whilst the mourning women- who drive off the soldiers with household goods- can be powerful in performance. The innocents themselves are often stylised- as blood-stained cloths (2012), or the red lining of bowler hats (2010)- and at other times startlingly realistic, with children's dolls torn apart and impaled on spears (2016). In 2014, Heslington Church's performance used the church building itself as a backdrop, re-imagining an austerity-struck Britain in which children could be ruthlessly slaughtered for political gain.
The play is based on Matthew 2, v16-18.
The original script, in 15th Century Middle English, can be found here, courtesy of Prof. Clifford Davidson and the University of Rochester's TEAMS Middle English Text Series.