A ONE MAN PLAY ABOUT THE ONE MAN WHO CHANGED HISTORY
One Man’s Passion is a 45-minute performance that is easy to understand and accessible to all. The story begins with John the Baptist heralding the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry and takes us right through to the death and resurrection of Jesus that we celebrate at Easter. You can listen to a podcast about this performance here.
Using minimal props and simple costume changes, the performance incorporates drama, song and live music all performed by one man. The concept of this project is that the performance is very ‘street theatre’ in its style and can be easily taken to various locations, be that shopping precincts, local parks or your church buildings.
Overall, I performed the One Man’s Passion on 10 occasions. The performance lasted 40 minutes and was an accessible introduction to this one man, Jesus. Starting with John the Baptist preparing the way, I gave a brief history of Jesus’ life from birth, through his years working as a carpenter and then until he begins his ministry at age 30. I cover his miracles, his healings, his teachings and his run-ins with the religious authorities, so that the scene is set for the finale… the traditional passion story. Covering the entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, Judas’ betrayal, Jesus’ arrest and trial. Finally, we see Jesus on his cross and hear his final words before we move to the tomb and celebrate his resurrection.
The performance included 7 different characters, each with their own voice/accent as well as the main ‘storyteller’ who kept the performance ticking along. There was spoken word, music (both backing tracks and live performance), singing and even a very brief dance! Water was turned into wine and various simple coats and hats were used to create the different characters. The set was made up of various objects that became the meal table, the garden of Gethsemane, the cross and the tomb and it was all moved around as the story unfolded.
I was also invited to record the audio of the performance for a radio program and this was broadcast on Unity Radio at 7am on Easter morning.
There was a very positive response to the performances and there are now new opportunities arising. I have been asked to perform again in July at an event for adults with learning disabilities and I am in talks with the Southampton Christian Network about performing as part of their mission week, ‘Church in the Park’ at the end of May. I have also been asked about possibly performing at an English language café run by a church at the local university.
I was approached by an Evangelist from Fareham after one performance and he is keen to meet and discuss how we could work together, using the performance as part of his ongoing work in a number of schools in his local area.
After the performance at Foundry Lane, I also started to look ahead to next year and will be planning a specific schools tour of the performance. The feedback was so encouraging, and the teaching staff said how helpful it was that I am confident that I can gain access to many schools next Easter time. I can also partner with Southampton City Mission and their schools work program, which almost happened this year but due to poor communication on their part we couldn’t get things organized in time.
This has been an incredible experience for me. I have grown closer to Jesus myself through this process and I believe God, in his grace has used me as his instrument this Easter to take his story and proclaim it, scattering seeds of the Gospel across our city and letting people know Jesus is something worth shouting about!
An excellent production. As someone who holds a diploma in stage technique, I was very impressed with your presentation and your delivery. Thank you for a memorable Good Friday
Thank you so much Neil, you were fantastic! I thank God for the gift he has given you… you were brilliant and so creative
It is so good to see the Christian message out in the streets, people need to hear it especially in this day and age.
Thank you so much for the wonderful Passion play that you did for us. The children were very well engaged and entertained. The performance was perfect for our curriculum. They enjoyed the story and singing and they kept looking at me knowingly because they had already heard the Easter story the day before and they were excited to learn about it in a different way. The children did take on board the meaning of the story … Lots of my class wanted to come over to you to share what they had learnt. Thank you so much.