Actors with Scottish accent sought for Jesus play in Edinburgh

The cross used  in the Easter Passion Play.
The cross used in the Easter Passion Play.
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ACTORS with a Scottish accent are being hunted to take part in a traditional play about the life of Jesus.

The large-scale community Passion Play will arrive in Edinburgh next year, and organisers will have a number of the biblical characters speaking in Scots to help the story connect with contemporary Scotland.

The play will be performed in Princes Street Gardens West on Saturday 15th April 2017, will have a number of the biblical characters speaking in Scots to help the story connect with contemporary Scotland.

Director Suzanne Lofthus said: “This is a full, promenade production in period costume set in the first century AD, but we are looking to bring a more colloquial feel to the language by making some of the characters speak in Scots.

“We’re not saying that the characters in the Bible were Scots, but that they were ordinary men and women just like us. We have commissioned the writer, Kamala Maniam, to bring some more modern touches to the language and make it more accessible and relevant.”

Lofthus urged budding actors of all ages, backgrounds and accents to come and join the cast. “No acting experience is needed and the cast will be made up of a wide variety of people. It’s a great production to be part of, and there are both speaking and non-speaking parts.

“It’s great fun, and a great way to hone your acting skills. There are no auditions, just bring enthusiasm and the desire to be part of one of the greatest stories ever told.

This is the first time in five years that a traditional Passion Play has been performed in Princes Street Gardens. In 2014, crowds some two thousand strong gathered to watch The Edinburgh Passion, a contemporary version of the story by playwright Rob Drummond.

Rev Mike Frew, chairman of the Easter Play Trust, said: “We have gone back to a traditional production this year because we felt that a lot of people don’t know the original story. But we really want the characters to speak in contemporary voices, the kind of language people would hear and use in conversation, to make a bridge from the original story to the 21st century.”

Anyone interested in being part of The Easter Play is invited to attend weekly rehearsals which begin on Wednesday 16th November at Gorgie Dalry Stenhouse Church, 190-192 Gorgie Road, at 7pm, or contact cuttingedge21@btopenworld.com for more information.