I have just returned from tonight's performance of the Hornchurch Passion Play.
Performed on the village green, this free entry event celebrating the story of Easter, attracted many hundreds of people. Stages erected on scaffolding around the green provide locations for Jesus teaching in the temple, the Last Supper, the trial before Pilate and of course the crucifixion - which takes place on a grassy knoll.
The action is timed so that the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane takes place just as the sun sets. Romans are depicted in modern military dress, with Pilate resembling the Duce of World War II. As darkness falls spotlights follow the actors around the multiple sets. The spectacular piece concludes with the Resurrection and a message of hope for mankind.
A choir and small orchestra provide background music for the ninety minute production, which is well worth seeing. Congratulations to the churches of Hornchurch for this fantastic performance.
The play will be repeated on Saturday and Easter Sunday, starting at 7:30pm. More details can be found at http://www.hpp2011.org/ .