On Good Friday this year – the 3rd of April – there will be a performance of the Passion in and around RichmondRiverside. The play is comprised of amateur actors and actresses of all ages and is directed by Peter Cregeen. Truth be told, I’ve never seen a Passion Play (apart from in films), but I discovered that staging the Passion was a tradition in medieval times, and is currently being revived on high streets up and down the UK. Who knows, perhaps the Passion was performed during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in the same location as the current performance.
What I find so fascinating about this project is the sheer courage and audacity it takes to put this on. The nativity story is charming and twee when staged in schools and churches with children, but this is an altogether different emotional narrative. There is unbelievable cruelty, grief, fear and great suffering. The story ends well as we all know, but I’m so looking forward to witnessing my neighbours take on the characters of Jerusalem in AD33.
I feel completely privileged to be able to contribute to the effort in terms of my photography. Really, it’s pretty moving to be able to capture specific moments to be contemplated later. And I really do hope that this enactment might be an encouragement to people of other faiths to depict some of the stories or ideas from their own traditions and beliefs.