The York Bakers and Their Play of the Last Supper


  • Leanne Groeneveld University of Regina



This article reconsiders the York Bakers’ pageant ‘The Last Supper’: both the play’s representation of the biblical narrative and possible reasons for removal of a leaf from the text as recorded in the York register. Noting the play’s uninterrupted production throughout the protracted Reformation, I argue that the pageant likely represented the bread shared by Christ and his disciples as a common loaf rather than as eucharistic wafers. This style of representation makes sense of the pageant’s guild ascription but challenges current assumptions about why dialogue and action were eventually excised from the written text of the play.

Author Biography

Leanne Groeneveld, University of Regina

Leanne Groeneveld ( is associate professor of theatre studies at Campion College, University of Regina, SK. Recent articles include 'Mourning, Heresy, and Resurrection in the York Corpus Christi Cycle' in Christian Riegel (ed.), Response to Death: The Literary Work of Mourning (2005) and 'Salvation, Damnation, and the Wounded (Corporate) Body of Christ in Late Medieval Culture' in Florilegium 22 (2005).