Presenting the Passion in Poole

by Gerry Lynch last modified 14 Apr, 2014 03:45 PM

Another roaring success for Poole Passion after performances involving open air processions in Parkstone.

Five years ago, a group of Dorset people wondered if they could stage a Passion Play involving a diverse cross-section of the community in Poole during Passiontide, perhaps a little inspired by the famous Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany. They succeeded, and have carried out a production every year since.

Like its Oberammergau counterpart, the Poole Passion, which has now evolved into an independent theatre company, seeks to engage the whole community, including people who’d normally never imagine acting in a community theatre production. They work with young people, students, homeless people and people who are in recovery from addiction

This year’s production, Through the Eyes of a Child, ran for five performances between Wednesday 9 and Saturday 12 April. It told the story of the last days of Jesus Christ from the perspective of a child, and brought a spectacular procession to the streets of Parkstone, which organisers believe will become a new tradition for Poole.

Each performance started at Parkstone United Reformed Church, from where the entire cast and audience paraded through the streets for the final scenes at St Peter’s Church.

In the weeks leading up to the performances, the Poole Passion Logo was beamed on to a number of prominent buildings in Poole as part of a promotional son et lumiere, including St Peter’s Church in Parkstone, the Guildhall, the Lighthouse and the memorial to lost lifeboat crews outside the RNLI’s national headquarters.

Writer and artistic director, Sharon Muiruri said: “The most important reason for the production is to create a community and bring people together who would probably never usually meet. It’s also about striving to create a piece of theatre with high production standards.”

The youngest performer in this year’s play was only four year’s old; the oldest was 89. It is supported by a number of local companies and charities and, of course, churches from a wide spectrum of denominations.

If you would like to know more, or register an early interest in taking part in the 2015 version of the play, please visit their website: www.poolepassion.com.

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