purple PASSION, the Easter story told as a musical, was performed to excited audiences at Church on the Heath, Elvetham Heath in Fleet at the beginning of March and raised £300 in total which was shared between CAFOD and Christian Aid.
Written and directed by Giga Phillips, the musical depicts Christ’s last week on earth from Palm Sunday to His Resurrection and appearance to the apostles.
Originally written for the Fleet Catholic Churches as part of their Year of Faith celebrations, the premiere was performed at the Holy Trinity Church, Church Crookham in March 2013.
The multi denominational cast, of about 50, welcomed the chance of putting on the production again as a wonderful way to start Lent. Fully costumed in biblical dress, with special effects and professional lighting, the production took the audiences back to 33AD.
John Glossop, a young member of Sandhurst & Yateley Methodist Church who has a degree in theatre studies and acting told Giga:
“The Purple Passion was a strikingly fresh retelling of the Easter story, a play that put the meat on the bones of the Gospels and brought to life a fascinating period of history. Roaming the aisles of the church were Roman soldiers, peasants, blind men, lepers and even a pompous group of Pharisees dressed in their finery, and it felt like I was watching a busy day in Jerusalem unfolding before my eyes. And yet, amid the bustle of these vivid characters, everything seemed so well choreographed and fluid that I kept wondering how much preparation had to go into putting together a production like this. Not to mention Satan, who walked among the people and seemed only too aware of the Pharisees’ self-righteousness.
“There was a very well-considered performance from Douglas Brown, who played Jesus. He put every bit of himself into the character and left us hanging on his every word (he can sing very well too!). When, inevitably, Jesus was crucified, the stage was vastly different, the vibrant atmosphere gone, and it showed the audience just how deeply the loss of their Lord affected the disciples.
“The play was hard-hitting, but perhaps it was this aspect that reminded us of just how much Jesus endured for our sakes, and how much more excitedly we may say to ourselves over this Easter period, ‘He is not here, He is Risen!’
A local Church of England minister said,
‘I watched the performance last night. It raised a number of issues for me – all creative and useful, so I was so pleased to have experienced it. It was so well done and so very creative. I think that £5 was a very cheap ticket price for what was delivered. I would thoroughly recommend it.”
A parishioner said,
‘WOW! Purple Passion was super! The thunder and lightning, the cock crowing, the costumes, the way everything was done and the singing. Wow! Everyone I spoke to felt the same way: A wonderful production and very meaningful for us during Lent.’
Thank you so much everyone for your hard work. We really appreciate all your support and look forward to next year’s production!