Wintershall Passion play expands to UK towns and cities
Since its first performance in 2010, Wintershall has presented The Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday. A decade on, as well as performing the Passion Play in London, their script will be performed in at least 10 other UK towns and cities on the same day,
Good Friday 10 April 2020 will see performances in Bath, Bishop Auckland, Burton-on-Trent, Hamilton, Horsham, Liverpool, Newbury, Spelthorne and Worcester. The Passion will once again be performed in Guildford High Street on Saturday 11 April.
It has long been Wintershall’s dream to take their Passion Play nationwide and to share the awe-inspiring full-scale re-enactment of the Passion with communities around the country. The play will be performed for free by local casts across the country, with a nominal fee for tickets for the Liverpool Passion.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “Every spring for the past 10 years, The Passion of Jesus has brought the Easter story to life in Trafalgar Square, sharing its message of hope with Londoners and visitors from around the world.
“Thousands of people from every faith, background and walk of life have witnessed this re-telling of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and I am proud that this year, for the first time, this treasured London play will be brought to even more people in locations across the country.”
The story commemorating the day Jesus is believed to have been arrested, tried and crucified by the Romans, two days before miraculously rising from the dead on Easter Sunday, is brought to life in the open air and has become a much-anticipated Easter fixture.
Featuring realistic scenes and a moving crucifixion and resurrection, The Passion of Jesus is an unforgettable Easter experience and its Christian message is both educational and historical.
Wintershall have licensed their Passion Script, written by Peter Hutley, and Production Manual to each new city and town taking part and each new production is performed and produced by local communities. This unifying project aims to bring communities together, embracing those of all faiths and none, to tell the story of Easter to a new audience.
Full details of each city and town taking part can be found at www.onegoodfriday.com. Each city or town is still recruiting cast members, production staff, volunteers and fundraisers to achieve this.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Justin Welby said “Passion Plays have been a feature of the life of our country since the Middle Ages, and for good reason: there is no greater story than that of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I hope and pray that this Easter, you can be caught up in the story of the love of God for the world in the person of Jesus. Come and see.”
The Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square attracts more than 20,000 people to its two performances. In 2020, the play will be performed at 12 noon and 3:15pm and both will be live streamed.
The Passion play in London is directed by Ashley Herman and produced by Charlotte de Klee. The actor and artist James Burke-Dunsmore plays the role of Jesus with the rest of the Wintershall company made up of volunteer actors and stage crew from in and around London and the South East.
The Archbishop of Westminster, His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “This Good Friday, I recall some of the last words of Pope St Paul II: ‘We adore and bless the mystery of the Cross of the Son of God, because it was from his death that new hope for humanity was born.’
“I warmly commend this performance of The Passion of Jesus to you and thank all those who have had a part in bringing it about.”
The Wintershall Cast are famous for their epic re-enactments of stories from the Scriptures. They also perform the extraordinary Life of Christ at the Wintershall Estate in Surrey every June (23 – 27 June 2020) and the now-famous Wintershall Nativity each Christmas (15-20 December 2020).