The Passion of Jesus at Trafalgar Square
In the unexpected good weather, onlookers celebrated the traditional side of Good Friday in Trafalgar Square. A crowd of tens of thousands gathered to witness the annual open-air Passion and resurrection play depicting the last days of Jesus. Theatre company the Wintershall Players’ enthusiastic performance of The Passion of Jesus has become a go-to Good Friday event in recent years. Mayor of London Boris Johnson enthused that “it is a wonderful event that brings to life the Christian message and attracts people of all faiths right in the heart of our great city”.
Whether religious or not, it was difficult not to get sucked into the drama taking place in the sun-soaked square on Friday. With Romans parading all corners of the location, a beaten Jesus placed high on a cross and yelling from a large cast throughout the long performance, passers-by were attracted to the free play immediately. The performers certainly made the most of the unusual location, interacting with their surroundings effectively. Jesus healed people with water from the fountains, Roman guards paraded through the audience and smoke billowed from behind the crosses at the centre of the square. It was a highly engaging telling of the Easter story for all ages.
As expected for a performance being held in one of the busiest tourist spots in London, the bustle in the background was somewhat distracting. However the actors successfully held the attention of a burgeoning audience with vehement performances. In scenes depicting the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, all participants gave passionate recitals and accurate portrayals of well-known biblical figures.
Despite the lengthy performance, viewers seemed to relish the heartily-delivered The Passion of Jesus, with a diverse audience of all ages, faiths and nationalities in attendance. With two triumphant shows on Good Friday and another taking place in Guildford on Easter Sunday, it looks likely that this yearly feat is set to become an increasingly popular part of the UK’s Easter celebrations.
The Passion of Jesus was at Trafalgar Square on 25th March 2016, for further information on Wintershall’s events visit here.