Definition of mystery play in English:

mystery play


  • A popular medieval play based on biblical stories or the lives of the saints.

    Also called miracle play
    • ‘It's not a great mystery play, it's not the best of hers, but it is a very solid one.’
    • ‘In the later medieval period mystery plays were one popular form in which Gospel stories (particularly, but not exclusively, Passion stories) were told.’
    • ‘Based on performances of medieval mystery plays, scenes will be performed on a large farm trailer that will be moved to different locations in the High Street.’
    • ‘They are the earliest known example of a type of Medieval drama also known as miracle or mystery plays.’
    • ‘Local school pupils will entertain the crowds, an Irish dance troupe will demonstrate traditional steps and a storyteller will present a mystery play.’

Mystery plays were performed by members of trade guilds in Europe from the 13th century, in churches or later on wagons or temporary stages along a route, frequently introducing apocryphal and satirical elements. Several cycles of plays survive in association with particular English cities and towns


mystery play