How long is a Passion Play?

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What can I expect when watching a Passion Play?

How long is a Passion Play? You can expect one to last between one and two hours.

These plays dramatise the events in the last week of Jesus’ life. They include his teaching, his miracles, his betrayal, his death and his resurrection.

Passion Plays take place every Easter and for many people, they are a unique way to experience the Easter story. It provides a unique opportunity to see it dramatised allowing the story to come to life. It therefore becomes more meaningful for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Passion Plays mostly take place on Good Friday or key dates over the Easter weekend. These include Maundy Thursday or Holy Saturday. It is not so common to see Passion Plays performed on Easter Sunday. The reason for this is that Easter Sunday celebrates Christ’s resurrection and the focus moves away from the sadness and despair of the betrayal and crucifixion that occurred on Good Friday.

Passion Plays in 2023

Most of the 2023 Passion Plays will take place during the Easter weekend in 2023. Some Passion Plays are also performed as part of a longer play about the whole story of Jesus’s life. The Havant Passion Play will take place in August 2023 and the Chester Mystery Plays include a Passion Play in their perrformance in June and July.  The Wintershall Passion is performed at Easter and also during the summer in their ‘Life of Christ’ play.

The events of a Passion Play focus on the death of Jesus Christ. Despite that his betrayal and crucifixion are often performed in the context of his life (including his teachings and miracles) and his resurrection (without which the Easter story would not be worth re-telling time and time again).

As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:14 “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain”.


An actor portraying Pilate, dressed in white looks out to the left in a deflated expression backed against another actor portraying Jesus. Jesus is wearing a crown of thorns and red robe and looking down. Behind the actors is a while stone wall. For the post How long is a Passion Play?