Seeing God at work in Passion Plays

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Passion Plays are unique ways to experience the Easter story! Seeing the Gospel accounts brought to life on the streets or in the park or in shopping centres can really change the way you understand Easter. And for people who take part in the productions, it can show how God can work through it to reach people with his forgiveness and love.

 

Neil who played Jesus in the Havant Passion Play, described being involved in a Passion Play as a journey of experiencing God’s love for them:

 I think they really I think they enjoyed it so afterwards there was a lot of a lot of smiling faces, a lot of people that were really pleased. They’d been involved and done it especially some of the ones that hadn’t sort of acted or performed before. I don’t know where everybody was on their own personal faith journey. I got the impression, dare I say, that some people weren’t necessarily church goers or people that would stand up and say they had their a faith of their own yet. I would hope that through doing this they they’ve picked up something of God’s love for them, and and who this person Jesus was.

Even during rehearsals, the power of bringing to life the events of the Passion story was evident:

A lady that was the stage manager was in tears. She was crying at the end of it, and She came up and told me off afterwards I’d made her cry and stuff like that. And again I think it was just a moment where maybe she’d seen something different for the first time, or wasn’t expecting to be quite caught up in the emotion of it, the way she was so. that this was like in our third or fourth ever rehearsal. When we we blocked the crucifixion scene for the first time. And we actually performed it. And I, I went on the cross and cried out. She said she just found it really really emotional, and she couldn’t help herself. She didn’t cry again after that one. 

 

Clare O’Brien, producer of the Liverpool Passion, described some of the best parts of the performance for her, and also shares how significant it was for the actor who played Mary:

When Jesus is taken off cross and laid to rest with his mother for a time before taken to the tomb – that really touched me more than it had before the past. Song ‘Jesus stripped from his garments’ – when we talked about it among ourselves – how people have lost their dignity and how that manifests and how we can gain strength from what we’re seeing/doing here. How we can make it relevant to our personal lives.

The lady who played Mary, I found out a week before the performance that her son had been killed in a stabbing 12 or 13 years earlier. To see her in the performance holding her son saying its ok now, you’re at peace and laid to rest, its over now, and she’s crying her eyes out and she’s putting all this into her goodbye. I didn’t know that when I asked her to be Mary. And a lady whose daughter is mental health and was involved with dance/movement she just flew with it and her mother said ‘thank you, its given her purpose again’.

 

For Meaghan, music and movement director in the Passion Play in Liverpool, seeing God at work was ‘like a mustard seed’:

How much God works like all it takes is is kind of a mustard seed. [For example] I feel like God’s speaking to me right now let me send an email, and he just balloons it. His miracles and the friendships you gain through it, and how much you inspire people and they inspire you through just a simple act of obedience. He kind of waters an entire harvest. People I know, even one of my colleagues, showed up to watch it as well with her daughter, and they’re not believers either, and she just really enjoyed it,  and my colleagues from the school I work at.

 

You can see images of the Liverpool Passion Play and the Havant Passion Play on our website here, as well as footage from Havant here.