Worcester reminded of ‘beauty of forgiveness’ by divine passion play - The Malvern Observer

Worcester reminded of ‘beauty of forgiveness’ by divine passion play

Malvern Editorial 29th Mar, 2024   0

PEOPLE across the Faithful City were reminded of the beautiful power of forgiveness as the magnificently divine Worcester Passion Play returned to Cathedral Square today (Good Friday).

The performance delivered a grand retelling of the Last Supper, Judas’ betrayal and the crucifixion as well as Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.

The cast, director and production team are all volunteers, many of whom are members of churches across the county.

This years production, the third time the event has been staged in Cathedral Square, saw Jake Drake replace Ollie Ward in playing the crucial role of Jesus Christ.




Jake, originally from Worcester but now living in Swindon, used to work at a theatre company in the city and was approached by director Tim Crow to fill Ollie’s huge shoes.

He told the Observer: “The whole experience has been awesome, a lot of the cast have done the play before and helped me a lot and it was easier for me to fit in around them.


“It’s hard to personify Jesus as he is the son of God and was the perfect human and I, as a fallible one, am trying to pretend to be him.

“I wanted to focus on the human side of Jesus and the torment he put himself through for mankind.”

A crowd of hundreds braved a flurry of rain to watch the engrossing performance, which saw the cast kitted out in authentic attire from the era.

The sunshine peered out from behind Worcester Cathedral for the emotional crucifixion scene, which saw ‘Jesus’, the ‘Good Thief’ and the ‘Bad Thief’ tied to a large cross by rope, bringing tears to the eyes of several onlookers.

But the sadness was swept away by the elation of the joyous resurrection scene which drew raptures of applause from the crowd.

Jake added he hoped the Easter story would show people the power of forgiveness.

“It’s so easy in this day and age to see a lot of hate in the world, putting up barriers and focusing on differences rather than common ground.

“The Easter Story teaches us to love each other and if we do that, it can change the world.

“Forgiveness isn’t fair and you can see that in Jesus’ story, but if you can bring yourself to forgive those that sin against you, you will free yourself and might well change the heart of the person causing offence.”

Director Tim Crow told the Observer this year’s Passion Play might be the final one to grace Worcester’s streets.

He added: “Me and my wife committed to three years working on this, and I don’t anticipate we will be doing it again, but should someone else like to pick up the baton I’m sure we could help them in some form.

“I thank God because the complications of putting on something like this are great, but by the Lord’s Grace it has all come together, Jake did a grand job of stepping into Ollie’s shoes and I’m grateful to everyone who took part.

“We live in a world that is a terrible mess, there’s pressures in just about every area of society.

“Jesus predicted things would get tough, but in him there is hope and this play is one of the ways we can express that hope.”

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