Havant

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Huge congratulations to everyone who was involved…It was truly awe-inspiring.

The Havant Passion was performed in August 2019. The first act started with Jesus’ disciples trying to heal a young possessed boy. When they failed, the locals, led by a Scribe, turned on them accusing them of not being disciples of Jesus. This gave the disciples the opportunity to re-enact many of the miracles and healings they had witnessed whilst travelling with Jesus. It also enabled many of the actors to take on far bigger roles than they had previously, unsupported by James (Jesus). Jesus appeared at the beginning of Act Two, healed the possessed boy and carried on the story to the Passion.

As you may remember, HPP is the product of a variety of churches in and around the Havant area. This year, in looking for more cast members, we spread our net far wider and were lucky to have 7 people from the Wintershall cast join us and another woman, a friend of cast member, travelled up from Lyme Regis every weekend to attend rehearsals and take part. We were delighted that, this year, over half the cast, were with us for the first time. We attracted a mother and her three young children, aged one, three and five, they were perfect for the scene where Jesus says, ‘Let the children come to me’. One of the Roman Soldiers also brought along his three young children. We have a lot of retired people and our oldest cast members are in their mid 80’s! We find the most difficult age group to attract, as actors, is teenagers, although we did have a few.

This time we needed more staging than before and we were able to borrow it all from two local primary schools. Our cast numbered about 80 and we were supported by a crew of similar numbers. The three performances were free for everyone to attend. We had programmes on sale for a suggested donation of £1.00. Audience numbers were over 1,000 for the three performances which was thought to be good, considering the weather forecast, especially on Saturday, and the strong wind that was blowing all weekend!

A local African Catholic Priest came to see one of the Saturday performances. He had never witnessed anything like it before and was so impressed that he made it the theme of his Sunday sermon! Several members of his congregation were in the cast.

I would like to add my thanks to all the organisers and players – different scenes have come back to me since as I read and attend Mass. The play has made me experience the gospel in a different way. It was very moving and meaningful.

WELL DONE EVERYONE!!!! We thought it was just brilliant! No other words for it. Really VERY moving at times and so well put together. Thoroughly enjoyed it and were pleased that the weather for all performances was fairly kind and that there was such a good attendance this afternoon.

Huge congratulations to everyone who was involved. The production was truly awe inspiring and will remain in my mind for a long time.

WELL DONE EVERYONE!!!! We thought it was just brilliant! No other words for it. Really VERY moving at times and so well put together. Thoroughly enjoyed it and were pleased that the weather for all performances was fairly kind and that there was such a good attendance this afternoon.

It was great to see yet another new take on the story of Jesus, and I was really intrigued that James simply didn’t appear for the first half of the play. I think it showed how much you have developed in your confidence and acting skills, that you could carry the narrative without the main professional actor on stage. Some of the things I was impressed with were the (relatively) tiny details – the seamless way the blue head covering was passed between each person playing Jesus, the interaction with the audience during the feeding of the 5,000 and at the end, and the way one of the disciples appeared to be carrying the lifeless head of John the Baptist.