Over 700 people sat in the sunshine to watch the first Passion Play performed on White’s Field in Chinnor. The audience were able to enjoy free refreshments, while local novice actors presented the Easter Story to them.
The play opened by a 21st century family, eating breakfast, who found themselves discussing the origin of Easter Eggs. Father, mother and two children travelled back in time to AD33, complete with costumes to see for themselves the last week of life of Jesus Christ. Joyous shouting, shofar blasts, dancing, singing, waving of palm leaves announced the entry of Jesus. St Andrew’s and Mill Lane Primary School choirs joined in the celebrations. They sang their own song written and composed by a 16 year old from Chinnor.
The cast encouraged audience participation as Pilate asked the crowd to choose between Barabbas or Jesus. They watched in silence as Jesus was denied, betrayed, whipped and finally executed on a 9ft high cross, nailed into place by Roman Soldiers. His distraught mother looked on helplessly. Hope and joy returned during the resurrection scenes witnessed by Mary Magdalene and his disciples. The 21st century family who had been part of the play, reverted back into their ‘normal time zone’. Then the play concluded with Jesus, dressed in 21st century clothes. He joined the family, showing he was alive and relevant in today’s society.
Our gratitude goes to the 120 people who came together from all walks of life to stage this production. Many of them did not appear on stage, but have worked behind the scenes. There has been great team spirit during the many months of hard work it’s taken for the team to bring it to life. The Chinnor Passion Play has been a real community effort! No profits were made from the event and no-one received any monetary reward.