Chester City Passion
Chester City Passion is the telling of the story of Jesus Christ’s final days on earth leading to his crucifixion. The story is told by a large community company of actors and musicians, played out on the historic streets of Chester on Good Friday morning. With the script based on several adaptations of the world famous Chester Mystery Plays, the play includes Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on a donkey, the last Supper, his arrest and trial and concluding with his crucifixion on the cross.
The Chester City Passion uses many of the unique features of Chester’s historic city centre as a set to tell the story, with the audience finding themselves playing the role of people of Jerusalem, standing close to the dramatic events as they unfold, and following Jesus on the road to his trial and crucifixion. The community company take on many roles including Jesus, the 12 disciples, Mary Magdalene, Pontius Pilate, the High Priests. The production also involves notable city characters such as the Roman Soldiers who play the same role, and Chester’s Town Crier who narrates the story from various locations as the production, which normally lasts around 90 minutes, unfolds.
The story is accompanied by original instrumental and choral music by Matt Baker who has also directed the production, and has composed the music for the last four cycles of the Chester Mystery Plays.
How it Began...
Chester City Passion is delivered as a partnership between Theatre in the Quarter, Chester Mystery Plays, Link Up and Churches Together in Chester. It first took place on the streets of Chester on Good Friday 2016, attracting an audience of over 3000 people. In 2017 the performance attracted over 4000 attenders. Chester City Passion precedes the next major production of the Chester Mystery Plays which is to take place in the summer of 2023. Many of the 100 strong community cast are likely to take part in the production which will be directed by John Young with another new score composed by Matt Baker.