Powerful Passion Play returns to town after 30-year gap

James McNaughton plays Jesus
James McNaughton plays Jesus

The power and drama of Good Friday will come to the streets of Bedford tomorrow as the town stages its first Passion Play for 30 years.

And with a cast already nearing 100, this will be an event the organisers say has not seen in Bedford for a generation.

A live theatre performance will recreate the Passion Play or Easter pageant. A new script has been written which will retell the story of Jesus’ trials, crucifixion and resurrection in a “fresh and direct” way.

The play starts at 10.30am in Church Square and will proceed to Harpur Street and up Silver Street. It will then make its way along the High Street, up Castle Lane and into the Castle Quarter, finishing at about 12.30pm.

The role of Jesus is being played by actor James McNaughton. He said: “I was delighted to be cast in the role of Jesus. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a role which rightly carries with it,a significant level of expectation and reverence.’

Director Cally Lawrence of No Loss Productions said: ‘This is unlike any other project I have worked on in my 20 years in theatre.

“I am so excited to be working with such a wide range of people in my home town, I think the event is going to be very special because it is driven by the Bedford community and what they bring to the work.’

The play not only has a large cast but a whole team of volunteers behind the scenes, making it a huge undertaking for the organisers.

Visit www.bedfordpassionplay.com for more information.