Acting and Directing Jesus in 2024

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What was it like performing Jesus in Passion Plays in 2024? Find out from the actors in the Passion Plays in Worcester, Havant and Edinburgh!



Playing Jesus in the Worcester Passion Play by Jake Drake:

It’s hard to personify Jesus as he is the son of God and was the perfect human and I, as a fallible one, am trying to pretend to be him. I wanted to focus on the human side of Jesus and the torment he put himself through for mankind. It’s so easy in this day and age to see a lot of hate in the world, putting up barriers and focusing on differences rather than common ground. The Easter Story teaches us to love each other and if we do that, it can change the world. Forgiveness isn’t fair and you can see that in Jesus’ story, but if you can bring yourself to forgive those that sin against you, you will free yourself and might well change the heart of the person causing offence.

You can read more about the Worcester Passion in the reporting from the Worcester Observer here and on our website here. 



Playing Jesus in the Havant Passion Play by Neil Maddock

Having had the privilege of portraying Jesus recently, I’ve learned something new. Because we sometimes make Jesus too nice and there is that risk, but actually he confronted a lot of stuff in the day. The religious authorities and the confrontational stuff with the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. He did it in love, but he did it with a real strength and authority and a real power. I knew that Jesus did that, but to actually read it again, and then portray that really showing his strength of character and his. But His compassion as well, in which he did it. He didn’t just like belittle them and make fun of them, or or anything like that. He called them hypocrites, obviously, and some other strong language. But it wasn’t in any way to ever sort of degrade them. It was to try and wake them up from from the the lies to get them to see the truth. It was seeing it again and hearing it again and reading it again and actually he was a really, really strong character. That had to confront a lot of stuff he didn’t just go around doing the nice things that we like to hear about and read about. He did a lot of really intense stuff and lots of intense conversations with these religious authorities. 

You can find out more about the Havant Passion Play here.



Directing Jesus and the crucifixion in Edinburgh, from director Suzanne Lofthus:

The play can also be an emotional experience for both the cast and the audience, in particular the crucifixion scene. That’s one I don’t tend to direct as such. If they’ve all done their work on the characters, I basically just say to react to the scene how you think your character would. Some of the audience last year found that scene, although it’s short, quite emotional and they weren’t necessarily believers. There’s just something in that scene. A man has laid down his life for his friends and that’s very relevant, if you look at Ukraine just now. The themes never change, that’s why the story can always adapt.

You can read more about the Edinburgh Easter Play here. 


Jesus taken off the cross and held in Mary's arms surrounded by weeping women.