History of Passion Plays
Easter plays and religious drama have a long and popular history in the UK. Today’s Passion Plays are descendants of the Quem Quaeritis Easter liturgy and the Visitatio Sepulchri liturgical dramas from the 10th and 11th centuries. They are free performances that tell the Easter story of the life and death of Jesus in the Bible.
Today’s Passion Plays also look back to the medieval Mystery Plays which involved the whole community and were performed during the feast of Corpus Christi. Medieval liturgical drama was used as an aid for devotion and teaching and Mystery Plays had a range of devotional and social uses.
Passion Plays draw inspiration from the long line of historical biblical drama in this country, but are firmly placed in local contexts and interpret the story of Easter afresh for people today. Each Passion Play is different, drawing on historical performances and also on the concerns and experiences of each local community that takes part in them each year.