Watch trailer for The Belper Passion

PASSION%20DISC%20200%20140The Passion story like the Nativity evokes intense emotions in everyone – even those who aren’t religious.

It is because the stories contain elements of betrayal, murder, heroism and hope.

What the Passion Play stands for are the universal themes – suffering and sacrifice – which hold significance for people facing problems in our world.

It is probably the reason why more and more communities are dramatising their own versions of the Easter story of how Jesus came to die on the cross.

Intrigued by the sell-out success of The Belper Passion in 2013 I volunteered as an extra for the making of a film trailer for this year’s event.

It might have been a cold wet morning in January but a few hardy souls arrived at St Peter’s Church to be greeted by the director Sheila Kay Sly and the Vella brothers Louis and Jamie with their camera equipment.

Our job was to perform as a cheering crowd greeting Jesus, Mary his mother and Mary Magdalene as they arrived in town.

Not too tricky you might think but we were working for perfectionists so there were quite a few takes before Louis and the director were happy.

I only gave up a couple of hours of my time and am thrilled to be able to say I at least made a contribution, but for those taking part in the actual event on Good Friday on April 18 there is lots more work to do.

George Gunby who has written and produced The Belper Passion says it is community theatre at its finest.

This year around 80 people will be involved in a variety of ways, either performing, behind the scenes dealing with the technical issues or stewarding on the streets.

“They will come from right across the social spectrum and friendships will be formed along with a deeper understanding of each others’ viewpoints,” said George.

“This has been pulled together for the town by a unique partnership between Churches Together in Belper and The Belper Festival.”

The first act will be staged inside the Methodist Church at 11am followed by a procession to St Peter’s Church where act two will take place.

The seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis so get there early. Even if you can’t get a seat in the churches you will at least be able to watch the Walk of Witness along the length of King Street.

You can see the trailer here.