‘The People’s Passion’ on tour in Lanarkshire during Holy Week

Professional actor Nicholas Elliott leads the cast of 'The People's Passion'in the role of Jesus
Professional actor Nicholas Elliott leads the cast of 'The People's Passion'in the role of Jesus

A play detailing the last week in the life of Jesus Christ will be told as ‘The People’s Passion’ tours Lanarkshire during Holy Week.

The Hamilton Passion Play has been bringing the Easter story to life in the heart of the town for the past couple of years, and this year churches across the county will play host to the re-enactment of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday through to his death on Good Friday.

The cast comes together from the community to portray a range of biblical characters, led this year by two professional actors; Nicholas Elliott in the lead role of Jesus and Chris McLeish as John.

Passion Plays are a tradition dating back hundreds of years and were historically used as a way to tell the Easter story to whole towns and villages, in a time when many people couldn’t read.

This year’s script is a very different approach to a Passion Play, devised by York-based Riding Lights Theatre Company.

Liz Blackman, who produces and directs the play, said: “In previous years we have presented a straightforward re-telling of the final week of Jesus’ life.

“This year, I was keen to develop our work through a script that involves our audience and helps us see our own part in this story.

“The new script is a wonderful mix of theatre and worship. Our cast are doing a great job in bringing it all to life and are really looking forward to taking our work to a range of towns.

“It’s the Gospel on tour; it doesn’t get better than that!”.

The performances of ‘The People’s Passion’ will take place as services of worship on: Palm Sunday (April 14) at 6.30pm in South Wishaw Parish Church; April 15 at 7.30pm in Hamilton United Reformed Church; April 16 at 7.30pm in Dalziel St Andrews Parish Church, Motherwell; April 17 at 7pm in Lanark Greyfriars Parish Church; and Good Friday (April 19) at 7.30pm in Carluke St Andrews Parish Church.

Entrance is free and all are welcome, performances will last about an hour.

The Rev Alan Gibson, minister at Motherwell South Parish Church, said: “It really does promise to be an exciting evening for anyone who is interested in the story of Easter and I would encourage everyone to come along and to be part of the story.”

The Rev Bryan Kerr, minister at Lanark Greyfriars Parish Church, added:, “At the heart of our Christian message at Easter is the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ.

“This is central to who we are as a church and we hope those who are curious about the story and what actually took place in the last week of Jesus’ life, including the political struggle and his attempts to bring in a new world order, will feel able to come along and watch.”