In the mid 15th century mystery-play cycle, known as the N-Town Plays
, there is an episode devoted to the Nativity.
5) See Meredith, The Mary Play, 105 n1002-25, Sugano, The N-Town Plays
, 368 nn421-56, and Granger, The N-Town Play
: Drama and Liturgy in Medieval East Anglia (Cambridge, 2009), 128-9, and 'Reading Her Psalter', passim.
The English compilation of biblical pageants that we call the N-Town Plays
comes from a time and place of intense Marian devotion; the cult of the Virgin dominated late medieval East Anglia, "England's Nazareth.
7) The quotations from the N-Town plays
will be taken from Spector's edition (1991) and numbers of the lines refer to this edition.
19) The text of the N-town plays
, however, may record a staging of this part of the secret Passion while the Jews are playing hot cockles with Jesus:
Blake, 99-114), one with the use made of the Mirror in the N-Town Plays
(Richard Beadle, 1-17), while A.
7) The few critics who have dealt at length with the N-Town plays
, then, all acknowledge that anachronism creates a close link between representations of community in the plays and the developing culture of late-medieval East Anglian communities.
Typically, the N-Town plays
are grave and dignified; the comic relief distinguishing other surviving cycles (from Chester, York, Wakefield) is markedly absent.
In the past decade there has not been one article devoted to the relationship between the N-Town Plays
Moreover, the N-town plays
, compiled into the form of a cycle (53) in the late fifteenth century, provide a provocative possibility as a model for the Chester reviser.
The N-Town plays
offer the most extensive dramatisation of the event whilst the Chester cycle, somewhat consistently with its overall attitude towards women (Coletti 1990: 89), omits it altogether.
Analysis of the milieu and audience of the N-town plays
is clearly and properly beginning to benefit from the increasing scholarly interest in provincial patrons and, in particular, in the literary tastes and activities of the East Anglian gentry and clergy.