Actors and volunteers wanted for Lewes passion play

Script workshop
Script workshop

A passion play which will tell the story of Easter will be staged in Lewes next year.

Churches in Lewes are working together to put on the play and are appealing for people to take part.

Auditions will be held up to the end of November for actors to play key roles, including Jesus, Mary Magdalene and the disciples.

The director is looking for musicians and singers, set designers, builders and painters, costume makers and other back-stage volunteers.

Open auditions will be held at St Pancras RC Church, Lewes, from 10am to noon on November 22 and 29 and at Christ Church, Prince Edwards Road, on Sunday November 30 from 2pm to 4pm.

Schools will be involved next year in drama, music and art workshops led by teachers, actors and musicians. Lewes churches staged Passion Plays in 2000 and 2010.

A play spokesperson said: “These were so successful that it was decided to bring all the various denominations together to stage them again in 2015.

“Money-raising events towards the project have been held over the past five years, including an open air performance of four Mystery Plays at Easter this year.”

Passion Plays have been performed for hundreds of years throughout the world and tell the story of Easter.

The church said that the Gospel on Good Friday should be sung in parts by various people.

Later on the Passion Play developed, first in Latin, then in vernacular languages, until the popular religious plays developed in the 15th century.

Amongst the most famous is the Passion Play of Oberammergau which has been performed in the village in Bavaria since 1634. Around 2,000, or half the village’s inhabitants, take part in the play which is performed every ten years.

The oldest Frankfort Passion play, by Canon Baldemar von Peterwell (1350–1381), took two days to perform.

Passion plays take place around the world, in countries including Canada, America, Brazil and Malta, as well as Spain, Slovenia and Poland.

The play will span Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and will be held in real time in open air at venues throughout Lewes.

It has been written with Lewes very much in mind.

Director Serena Smith said: “This is an inclusive project which we hope will reach out to the whole town, whether they are churchgoers or not.”

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