Lost Media Archive

The Coventry Mystery Plays is a partially lost series of 10 medieval plays of which only the first two survive today.These are the Shearman's and Tailor's Pageant and the Weaver's Pageant.


The full cycle of 10 plays told the story of the life of Jesus Christ from his birth in Bethlehem to his death on the cross in Jerusalem. They were musical plays, and the first one ends with the famous song "Bye-bye, loo-lee, loo-lay," Which is often played at Christmas. The two surviving plays depict "The Nativity " and "Christ and the Elders." The other eight are lost.


  • The two surviving plays were reprinted in facsimile in the the 1800s, by which time the only surviving manuscript for Part One had been destroyed in a fire.
  • The full cycle of plays were always performed in the summer, not at Christmas time.