It’s a resurrection as Easter play returns in reduced version

This year's Easter Play will feature ten, not 100, actors
This year's Easter Play will feature ten, not 100, actors
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A POPULAR Easter spectacle has been resurrected for the Capital – in a reduced format.

Organisers of the popular Easter Play, which depicts the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, have confirmed they are to stage a mini-production this year in Princes Street Gardens.

The 100-strong production, which once drew crowds of more than 3000 people, took a brief hiatus last year due to funding problems.

But the Easter Play Trustees hope a smaller retelling this year will help attract sponsors and the £30,000 needed to make it a regular on the city’s Easter calendar once more.

Muir Twigg, of the Easter Play Trustees, said: “This year on Maundy Thursday [April 5] the cross will again be raised on the Castle slopes. On Good Friday and Easter Sunday there will also be events to listen to and reflect on the Easter story.

“It will, of course, be a much smaller staging of the play with around ten costumed members taking part. Hopefully we will remind people about what a fantastic spectacle this once was and attract funds to restage it properly next year.”

The Easter Play team will perform their dramatised readings in Princes Street Gardens at 12.30pm and 1.30pm on Good Friday, April 6.

The team will also be in place for a service on Easter Sunday at 7.30am, followed by hot drinks and hot cross buns.

Reverend Michael Frew, of Slateford and Longstone Parish Church and chair of trustees for the play, said: “We still hope and pray that a full production of the play will be possible in the future, but it very much depends on getting financial backing. We need a major sponsor or two.

“The trustees and steering group are pleased with these plans, and hope that they will provide a focus of interest for supporters of the Easter Play, as well as an opportunity for Christian witness in the gardens.”

The Easter Play is the latest public event to be reinstated this year, following the news that the Capital’s Easter Festival will also once again take place.

Financial woes saw the festival cancelled in 2007 but it will now return to the city after organisers vowed to hold a small parade in Princes Street Gardens and events at smaller venues.

Last time the festival took place, in 2006, 2000 performers drew crowds of 40,000 spectators. Organisers have this year planned for 550 performers with an audience of around 5000.