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edinburgh passion jesusheader2.jpg
Colin Hattersley
edinburgh passion jesus.jpg
Colin Hattersley

Edinburgh announces passion play plans for Easter 2020

The Scottish Parliament, a nightclub, a football stadium and a police box will all be used for a retelling of the Easter story for 2020 in Edinburgh.

Over the course of three days, actors will tell the story of Jesus' trial, death on a cross and resurrection.

The weekend-long event will start on Thursday 9th April with the last supper and conclude on Easter Sunday, 12th April, at Easter Road stadium, home to Hibernian FC.

The Edinburgh Passion, organised by theatre company Cutting Edge Theatre, will take the gospel story into restaurants, nightclubs, churches, parks and the homeless community.

Different artists, theatre companies and community groups will take responsibility for hour-long segments, including a dance group of members aged 60 to 87 and a choir.


Colin Hattersley


'The Easter Play', re-enacting the final days of Jesus' life, which has also happened on a Saturday for many years, will be incorporated on Princes Street.

Director Suzanne Lofthus, was inspired by a 72-hour production in 2011 in Port Talbot by National Theatre Wales and Michael Sheen, involving over 1,000 people from the town as cast and crew.

She said: "We've staged the Easter Play in Princes Street Gardens for 15 years. This year, we want the whole city to tell the story.

"The events of Easter are almost continuous - the trial of Jesus happens through the night - so that gave us the idea of telling the story in real time in different parts of the city and involving different local groups of all kinds.

"The people in the Easter story were just ordinary men and women to whom something extraordinary happened. We are surrounded by similar stories in our everyday lives, we just don't always see them.

"A lot of my work is with those who find themselves more on the sidelines, whether that's adults with additional support needs or people in prisons. I'm aware of how often we box people in and create barriers."

Writer Kamala Santos said: "The Edinburgh Passion is special because it's an attempt to tell the passion story in real-time from the Thursday evening through to Easter Sunday morning. The story will spill out across the city and pop up in unexpected nooks and crannies. People can move from scene to scene throughout the weekend, almost like an Easter pilgrimage.

"Retelling it in real-time, all over the city, with multiple groups involved is a way of bringing people closer to the action and the characters, and breaking it out of church buildings, where it is often left to stagnate."

Mike Frew, chairman of the Princes Street Easter Play Trust, the organisation behind the annual Easter Play in Princes Street Gardens, said: "We're telling the Saturday afternoon part of the story, when Jesus is in the tomb, a time of grief, reflection and hope. The writer, Kamala Santos, has woven together the grief, reminiscences and hope of the disciples - there's a lot of hope there as well as the grief. Hopefully it will intrigue and interest people.".

Suzanne Lofthus said: "No acting experience or faith background is necessary - just bring your enthusiasm. One of the biggest messages of the Easter story is 'Do not judge'. This is about showing what can be achieved when we lay aside our preconceived judgements and work together."

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