Great North Passion

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This passion play is no longer being performed. If you would like to start a new play in your town or city, please contact the Passion Trust for help, advice and funding.


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

great-north-passionThousands 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 and is a unique and innovative retelling of the story of the Passion.
Fern Britton and singer Alexandra Burke join local community participants, ranging from dancers and graffiti artists to a massed choir, to tell 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, inspired by the stations of the cross. Housed in shipping containers, they will be joined together to form a giant iconic installation in the shape of a cross. Artworks range from a boat atop a shipping container with a net descending to the floor, made by local fishermen questioning ‘what is truth’, to the memories of Northumberlanders inscribed on a long wooden table.

The Great North Passion was produced in partnership with the Cultural Spring, a £2m Arts Council project to get more people involved in the arts in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Containers were customised by local communities in Northumberland, Middlesbrough, North and South Tyneside and Gateshead.

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 but it was a “wonderful way of getting people connected to what Easter is about”, she said.