The anguish of Good Friday played out in Anglia Square
In Norwich’s Anglia Square on Good Friday an audience of hundreds experienced a taste of the anguish of Jesus’ journey to the cross and his crucifixion in an hour-long performance with a cast including the Bishop of Lynn.
An audience of over 200 people sat on picnic blankets, deckchairs and stood in the sun around Anglia Square on Good Friday (April 19) to see Christ's Passion powerfully acted out under the square's glass canopy.
The hour-long performance was directed and written by Kandi Kammoun, with the aim of giving the Norwich audience a flavour of medieval street theatre. Shoppers of all ages stopped and joined the gathering to take photos on their mobile phones and to watch eating snacks bought from local shops.
The cast entered the square at 3pm in procession chanting ‘Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord’. The story began with Jesus’ baptism and Angel Gabriel, the play’s narrator, played by the Bishop of Lynn Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick, filled in the background.
The play centred around episodes from the Holy Week with Rev Dean Akrill as the tortured Jesus, plagued by temptation from a comedic devil acted by Rev Dr Charles Read.
During Jesus’ prolonged temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane the Bishop's Angel Gabriel sang an emotional ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ to loud applause.
At Jesus' trial the audience joined in with shouts of ‘Free Barabbas’ and then watched in discomfort as Jesus struggled to carry the cross around Anglia Square.
Following the crucifixion, made graphic by Jesus' tortured face, Mary sobbed over Jesus’ dead body as the song ‘Mary Did You Know?’ by Pentatonix played across the Square. By the end the audience didn’t know whether to clap or cry. As the initial shock subsided they joined in with hearty applause.
Talking afterwards the Bishop of Lynn said: “As an actor I’m always struck by the emotion and reality of doing it in a setting like this. That is why I wanted to be part of it"
Click here or see above to view a picture gallery of the Anglia Square Passion Play.