Passion Play success

The Parish of South Gillingham is celebrating the success of two performances of their play ‘He is Risen!’ - the final performance of which took place on Sunday 22 April.

Dealing with the subject of the Resurrection, this was the third such play staged by the parish in recent years, having covered The Passion and The Nativity in the previous productions in 2015 1nd 2016.

Original scripts

Working to original scripts written specifically for these productions, members of the four churches in the parish, along with a number of non-church members, endeavoured to tell this timeless story in a way which was  faithful to the gospels but at the same time with a degree of originality.

Louisa Waters of St. Paul’s Church, Parkwood who played Mary Magdalene said: “I have loved playing the part of Mary Magdalene in “He is Risen!” The play sees her transform from an angry woman to one more compassionate and tender.

"I have felt able to relate to this character in her frustration when others don’t live up to her expectations and I pray that the transforming power of the risen Lord continues to work through me too!”

Fresh insight in Resurrection

In an attempt to convey something of the mystery of the Resurrection and the inevitable confusion of the disciples, the risen Jesus was played by a different person each time that He appeared, including once by a woman – Emma Colyer.

Another ‘Jesus’ was Rev’d Canon Brian Senior, Rector of the parish who doubled up to also play Pilate! Brian says of the experience: " 'He is risen!' shook cast and audience alike out of their comfortable familiarity with the gospel account, to consider the enormous impact of the resurrection of Jesus. For me, playing the parts of both Pilate and Jesus has given me fresh insight into how lives were changed then, and are still changed today, by an encounter with the risen Jesus”

More to come

The play was very ably directed by long term friend of St. Matthew’s, South Gillingham, Geoff Down, who gave unstintingly of his time and energy and brought tremendous vision to the production. He said: “A group of inexperienced people coming together with energy and enthusiasm to turn their faith and beliefs into 3 dimensions. Altogether a very rewarding time during rehearsals and performance and I have enjoyed working with a fantastic group of people”.

The parish will be looking to produce further plays in the future.

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