Edinburgh Passion returns to Princes Street

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A local couple who met during rehearsals for an open-air Passion Play in Princes Street Gardens are marking the approach to their second anniversary - by rehearsing another Passion Play.

Sean and Alison Edie met during rehearsals in 2009 and married in April 2012. This year, two days before their anniversary, both will be back in the Gardens appearing in the Edinburgh Passion, Rob Drummond’s contemporary take on the events leading up to the crucifiction and ressurection, which will be staged on Saturday at 2pm.

Alison, a secretary at Edinburgh University, volunteered to appear in the show because she had just returned to Scotland and wanted to meet people. She didn’t expect to find romance, but got chatting to Sean, a window cleaner, who was playing the part of the apostle John.

“We got along pretty well and had certain things in common. When we did the walk-through in Princes Street Gardens, I’d got my hair dyed and he noticed - I was impressed. After rehearsals finished, he invited me to come and hear him sing as part of a barbershop choir. We started dating the following February.”

There was no Passion Play in 2012 but both Sean and Alison were back the following year in a smaller promenade production.

Alison recalls, “I was Simon Peter’s wife, and Sean played a centurion. It was very cold on Easter Saturday, and his Roman soldier costume wasn’t suited for that. As soon as he’d done his part, we had to rush round behind the bandstand and cover him in blankets.”

In the Edinburgh Passion, the events of Easter are set in present day Scotland. Alison plays a court clerk and Sean a policeman. Alison says, “Doing a modern version was a little strange at first, but the more we rehearsed I realised that the character of Jesus is pivotal, and it doesn’t really matter what setting he’s in.”

The Edinburgh Passion is a large-scale community production and the majority of cast and crew are volunteers. In previous years, crowds of up to 4500 have flocked to Princes Street Gardens to see a traditional Passion Play, and it is hoped the new contemporary version could attract another big crowd.

The Edinburgh Passion, Princes Street Gardens, Saturday, 2pm, free