Village vicar takes charge of major religious play
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
SIX plays that re-enact the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be performed simultaneously across the UK this Easter.
The open air performances will take place in Bath, Liverpool, Glasgow and Trafalgar Square. Bishop Auckland has been chosen as the play’s destination in the North East.
Revd Eileen Harrop, who is vicar at St Mary’s in Gainford as well as an associate minister for Bishop Auckland
Fellowship of Christian Churches, is producing the North East re-enactment.
She said there will be two 90-minute performances of the Passion Play, starting at noon and 3.15pm on Good Friday (April 10).
It will be free to attend and it is anticipated thousands of people will flock to Bishop Auckland to witness the spectacle, which will start at the gates of Auckland Castle before moving up the market square.
Ms Harrop said: “We are representing the whole of the North East and I’m producing it. It will be a community passion play and everyone who is taking part is giving their time and expertise for free.
“We’re expecting about 2,500 people for each performance and to be part of that is really special.
The food festival in Bishop Auckland has a similar footfall and so we think this is realistic.
“We want to share the excitement with people – we do hope that they will turn up. It is entirely for free. People have already volunteered to act and some have volunteered to make costumes.”
She added even the play’s director, Samantha Bradshaw, has also offered her services for free.
Ms Harrop said: “Someone is producing a soundtrack and sound effects and he is doing that as part of his degree, all for free, and it is something Trafalgar Square’s production won’t have.”
She said about 70 volunteers are putting together the Passion Play but more are needed.
Anyone interested in assisting with the production should contact passionplay