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Passion Play to Tour Lanarkshire Churches

Tuesday March 26 2019


A biblical theatre group founded by a Hamilton church is to tour a Passion Play around five Lanarkshire towns this Holy Week.

Drama Kirk at Hamilton Old Parish Church is a Fresh Expression of church using drama to bring biblical stories to life in a new and innovative way. The Go For It-funded programme has a varied and exciting year planned, including a dramatic bible study of the Book of Ruth and walking tours that echo the Israelites in the desert.

The first project is ‘The People’s Passion’, devised by York-based Riding Lights Theatre Company and building on the Passion Plays presented jointly by churches in Hamilton over the last two years.

Liz Blackman is Drama Kirk’s director. She says: “It is not simply an audience watching a performance. We are all part of Jesus’ story and the script encourages us to see our own part in it. There are some responsive moments in the text where the congregation will join together as one voice, just as they did in the first century. There is also congregational singing at poignant moments in the action.”

Hamilton Old’s depute Session Clerk, Bill Craig, played Peter in years one and two and this year will appear as the Centurion. He says: “As someone who has been a Christian for many years, I am amazed at how my understanding and appreciation of the Bible has been enhanced by the performance of the Passion Play. It has undoubtedly touched the hearts and minds of those involved; a number of whom have shared their own experiences and perspective on the use of drama as a powerful vehicle for Christian outreach with me. Dramatic realisation of the Easter narrative over the last two years has helped to  reach people and places which would not ordinarily be touched  by the Gospel.”

Jesus will be played by Nicholas Elliott, who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic  Art in London and has worked extensively in theatre, film and television, recently with the National Theatre. The rest of the cast are drawn from local churches, some who come with lots of experience of amateur drama, others with no experience.

Performances, which will take place as services of worship, will be held at:

Palm Sunday (April 14) 6.30pm South Wishaw Parish Church
Monday April 15 7.30pm Hamilton URC
Tuesday April 16 7.30pm Dalziel St Andrews Parish Church, Motherwell
Wednesday April 17 7pm Lanark Greyfriars Parish Church
Good Friday (April 19) 7.30pm Carluke St Andrews Parish Church



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