THE MAGNIFICENT Worcester Passion Play returned to Cathedral Square this morning (Good Friday) to once again bring a delightfully divine spectacle to the city.
The production, which made its debut in the city last year, delivered a grand retelling of the last supper, Judas’ betrayal and the crucifixion as well as Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.
An audience of hundreds marvelled at the remarkable production in the Worcester sunshine, with the cast kitted out in stunning authentic attire from the era.
This year’s cast included more Roman soldiers than the previous production, all armed with shields and spears.
The play also featured a live trumpet player.
Malvern Youth Ministry teacher Ollie Ward reprised his role as Jesus Christ from last year and said he felt as though the production team had become a ‘real community.’
“I felt more at ease in the role this year as did a lot of the returning cast.
“It’s always a bit nerve-racking performing in front of a live audience, not least when it’s in the middle of the city centre so everyone did marvellously.
“This year I wanted to emphasise slightly different parts of the character, especially the way in which the divine son of god related to people.”
Ollie added he wasn’t sure if he’d return for a third year, adding he was now 33, the same age it’s believed Jesus was when he died, so it ‘could be the time to pass the role onto someone else.’
The ambitious play featured Jesus’ crucifixion, during which Ollie was tied to a large cross by rope.
On either side of him, the ‘Good Thief’ and the ‘Bad Thief’ were also crucified, with the latter being played by the Bishop of Worcester, the Right Rev John Inge.
Passion play director Timothy Crow joked that the cast and crew voted on which of the thieves the Bishop would play.
The cast featured actors with varying experience in performing, with many of them being members of local churches.
People across Worcestershire have donated to the passion play to make the production possible.
Timothy Crow thanked those who helped through donations and said he hoped the production would continue for a long time, with the aim being to return to Cathedral Square on Good Friday 2024.
Visit https://www.worcesterpassionplay.co.uk/ to donate towards next year’s performance.