What a tremendous lead up and celebration at Easter we had in Tavistock this year! On Good Friday Tavistock held its first Passion Play since 1958, when my Grandmother was one of the crowd. Mum, Lily and I were asked by Sarah and Steve if we would do the make-up for the Passion Play. Sarah took Lily and me to Saltash to be given some training, in particular for bruising and bleeding. This was a new experience! After lots of practice (mostly on each other) we were ready for the big day. We really enjoyed this opportunity and would love to do it again!
As my Dad took an acting part in the Passion Play I thought I would ask him some questions about it to share with you all.
What is the Passion Play?
The best way of describing the Passion Play is that it is the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection told by the Churches in Tavistock and the surrounding villages. It was performed in Tavistock to show ordinary people living ordinary lives the outstanding story of Jesus’s triumph over death.
How did you get involved?
I was helping at a Messy Church session on a Saturday when Steve the Curate asked for my email address so I could be part of the Passion Play. I was a shepherd at Christmas Eve again this year which I thoroughly enjoy so I thought it would be a wonderful experience for me to get involved in another Church event. Ever since Steve got my email address I have been attending most rehearsals in the Parish Centre and St Eustachius’ where I was given a part in the play.
What part did you play and why?
I was cast as a Roman Officer. I played this part as I didn’t want to say too much as I was afraid I wouldn’t remember the lines as I am not use to acting. The Roman Officer, however, was important as I kept all the Roman Soldiers in check! I thoroughly enjoyed playing a Roman Officer as I got to wear a six pack! (Obviously, it was moulded off my own!)
What did you enjoy about the Passion Play?
Overall, I enjoyed everything about the Passion Play because I got to make new friends, learn more about the Easter story, spread the word about Jesus and see the impact the Passion Play had on the community. The number of people who turned up was amazing which made all the arduous work of the play worthwhile.
How was the Passion Play organised?
There were a lot of complex notes in many notebooks, emails and texts that went into planning and making this play tick. We were very privileged to have David Stranks, Sarah Pendle, Steve Martin and many other helpers to organise the Passion Play and the rehearsals. We have a makeup team and a brilliant costume team which helped to make the play come alive. The crosses themselves were fantastically made by Eric and his son, Mark. Moreover, we had amazing advertising which helped to draw in audiences from a vast area. The backstage team helped to keep the play together as one big performance as they told us actors where to go and when.
What were you most concerned about for the performance?
I was most concerned about the sound as we couldn’t practise it before-hand but luckily it went well and the performance was heard all around the town. Personally, I was worried about scene seven because it was a complex one. We had many props and cues to move in and out the doors of the Magistrates Court. We had to practise this scene a lot but luckily it went perfectly well on the day.
Would you do it again?
I would love to take part in a Passion Play or something similar again as I learned a lot and made some great friends in this experience. I was very proud that all my family could take part in this poignant event.
Any concluding thoughts?
Overall, the Passion Play was an immense success and I loved every moment of it. I will cherish memories of all the stress we went through before the play and all the liberation we all felt afterwards. I am now looking forward to the celebration coming up for all those involved which is taking place in May.
I will write to you all again next month when we will be halfway through the year!
With love, Martha x