The Liverpool Passion Plays are to return to Liverpool Cathedral over four nights this week to dramatise the events of Holy Week, including Christ’s last supper, trial and crucifixion. A new format for this year sees the addition of a Resurrection play.
Acts 1 to 3 take place from tomorrow (Monday, April 14), beginning with the story of Jesus in the Temple and Judas’s betrayal, through to Wednesday (April 16) with the trial and crucifixion. The story of the Resurrection will be told on Saturday (April 19). All performances are free, and start at 6.30pm. People are also invited to attend Choral Evensong (sung evening prayer) at 5.30pm.
This year’s plays ask the question ‘whom do you seek?’ inspired by the medieval Quem Quaeritis Easter liturgy. The angel asks this question of the three Marys that visit Jesus’ tomb to find it empty on Easter morning. The cathedral says the plays will reflect contemporary concerns and the community itself. As last year, the plays will be produced by the Overcrofters, the cathedral’s youth group. Members of the Cathedral clergy, including Dean of Liverpool Pete Wilcox, will again play the disciples in the last supper scene.
So many people attended the first two nights of the 2013 performances that some of the scenes for the finale – the crucifixion – had to be relocated to allow extra space for the audience.
Writer Mark Lovelady said: “’Whom do you seek?’ is a very powerful question for today. We all search for something greater than ourselves at some point in our lives. We hope that the Liverpool Passion Plays will really strike a chord with all of those who are currently asking these questions of themselves.”
Writer and director Dan Bishop said: “Last year, the cast and crew brought a fresh look on the story of Christ’s passion to an audience of more than 400 on the final night. This year the inclusion of the Resurrection scenes should create a completely new experience for those that attended last year, and we hope to attract even more people this year.”
See liverpoolcathedral.org.uk for more information.