Great North Passion

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The Great North Passion is no longer being performed. However, if you would like to start a new play in your town or city, please contact the Passion Trust for help, advice and funding.

Great North Passion on the BBC website

This page is a record of the Great North Passion in 2013.

A red stage box sits in front of an old church on a green lawn.Thousands gather in Bent’s Park, South Shields on Good Friday for BBC One’s extraordinary spectacle, The Great North Passion. The one-hour live event and broadcast reveals a giant iconic installation in the shape of a cross. This is a unique and innovative retelling of the story of the Passion.
Fern Britton and singer Alexandra Burke join local community participants. These are dancers and graffiti artists to a mass choir. Together telling the story of the last moments of Christ’s life, from his trial and suffering to his eventual death.

Twelve artists have created new contemporary work with local communities across the north east of England. The stations of the cross inspired these works which will be housed in shipping containers. Once assembled, the organisers will join these together to form a giant, iconic installation in the shape of a cross.

The artworks range in their inspiration and execution. For example, there’s a boat atop a shipping container with a net descending to the floor, made by local fishermen which ask the question ‘what is truth’. Another piece inscribes memories of Northumberlanders on a long wooden table.

The Great North Passion partnered with the Cultural Spring, a £2m Arts Council project to produce the Great North Passion. The project encourages people’s involvement in the arts in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Local communities in Northumberland, Middlesbrough, North and South Tyneside and Gateshead customised the containers.

Afterwards, singer Alexandra Burke, who performed at the event, said she was “honoured” to be involved.

She said she had “never heard of anything like” using shipping containers to tell the story of Jesus’ death. However it was a “wonderful way of connecting people connected to what Easter is about”, she said.