The Liverpool Passion Plays are to return to Liverpool Cathedral in 2014, writers Mark Lovelady and Dan Bishop have announced. The 2014 format will also see the plays performed over four nights, with the addition of an extra act showing Jesus’ resurrection.
Acts 1-3 will take place between Monday 14 April to Wednesday 16 April and the story of the Resurrection will be told on Saturday 19 April 2014.
On Saturday 12 April 2014 the performance will leave the Cathedral for one performance only of acts 1-3 at Holy Trinity Church, Southport.
This year’s plays will have the tag line ‘Whom do you seek?’ inspired by the Quem Quaeritis Easter liturgy and theVisitatio Sepulchri (visit to the tomb) liturgical dramas of the medieval period. They will, however, reflect contemporary concerns and the cathedral community itself. It will again be produced by the Overcrofters, the cathedral’s youth group.
So many people attended the first two nights of the 2013 performances that some of the scenes for the finale – the crucifixion – had to be relocated to allow extra space for the audience. Dan and Mark are hoping that the extra night will attract even more people.
Dan Bishop, who will also direct, said: “It was a huge privilege to be involved in the first ever plays and it is very exciting that the Dean and Chapter have asked us to stage them again next year. The cast and crew brought a fresh look on the story of Christ’s passion to an audience of more than 400 on the final night. Mark and I are currently in the process of writing the script, and have many fresh ideas based on things we learnt from the first production. We really hope that members of our regular congregation will come and experience their Cathedral in a different light, and become a part of the story of Christ’s passion in a new and exciting way.”
Mark Lovelady added: “Both Dan and I were overwhelmed by the response to the Passion Plays, and are very excited to be bringing them back to Liverpool Cathedral in 2014 – including the all new Act 4. Speaking to both old and young audience members last Easter proved that the plays had touched the consciousness of a great many, and brought the Easter story to life in a very personal and poignant way.
“Taking the Passion Plays to Holy Trinity, Southport will bring the story to a whole new audience, and further the links between the Cathedral and local parishes. Holy Trinity is the perfect setting – being a beautiful building, with a strong choral tradition. We’re very grateful to Rev. Rod Garner for allowing us to use Trinity, and delighted that Ian Wells (formerly Assistant Organist and Choral Conductor of Liverpool Cathedral Choir) will lead Holy Trinity Choir in accompanying the Plays.”