Easter Road stadium to host finale of four-day dramatisation of story of Easter across Edinburgh

Easter Road football stadium, the Scottish Parliament building, a nightclub, a police box, restaurants and parks will become venues for an epic dramatisation of the story of Easter.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 10:59 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 4:58 pm
The Edinburgh Passion will be staged across the city over four days in the run-up to Easter Sunday.

The home of Hibernian Football Club will play host to the finale on Easter Sunday of a four-day event, which will chart the trial, death and resurrection of Jesus staged in “real time” across the city.

The show’s director has suggested that the end of the production will even attempt to unite rival Hibs and Heart fans for the first time.

Hundreds of performers drawn from theatre companies and community groups will bring a specially-created version of the “Easter Play” to life via drama, music and dance over Easter Weekend.

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Sam Rowe, one of the actors who will play Jesus in the Edinburgh Passion, pictured with his 'disciples' in Dine restaurant, one of the venues playing host to the production. Picture: Colin Hattersley.

The vast production, which will be staged round-the-clock for 63 hours, is expected to “spill out across the city and pop up in unexpected nooks and crannies”.

Audiences will be able book tickets for specific sequences and venues and to follow the show around the city and create their own “pilgrimage” in the run-up to Easter Sunday.

Staged by community theatre company Cutting Edge, The Edinburgh Passion 2020 has been developed in the wake of annual dramatisations of the Easter story in Princes Street Gardens each year.

The park will also a specially-written Easter Play on the Saturday afternoon as normal as part of the bigger show, which has been in the planning stages for three years.

The Edinburgh-wide show has been inspired by The Passion, a 72-hour staged by the National Theatre of Wales, starring actor Michael Sheen, in Port Talbot, in 2011.

Churches and homeless projects will host key scenes in the production, which will visit Tollcross, Leith, the Royal Mile, Roseburn, Portobello and Duddingston.

Director Suzanne Lofthus, who has been at the helm of the previous productions in Princes Street Gardens, said: “We want the whole city to tell the story. The events of Easter are almost continuous - the trial of Jesus happens through the night - so that gave us the idea of telling the story in real time in different parts of the city involving different groups.

“The people in the Easter story were just ordinary men and women to whom something extraordinary happened.

“We’re surrounded by similar stories in our everyday lives, we just don’t always see them. I’m constantly amazed at how the Easter story seems to become more relevant every year.

“The aim is to have a real mix of different groups of performers involved in the production, including professional and amateur theatre companies, actors, dancers, visual artists and community groups.”

Writer Kamala Santos, who is advising on the overall storyline for the city-wide show, added: “It’s special because it’s an attempt to tell the story in real-time from the Thursday evening through to Easter Sunday morning.

"The story will spill out across the city and pop up in unexpected nooks and crannies. People can move from scene to scene throughout the weekend, almost like an Easter pilgrimage.

“Retelling it in real-time, all over the city, with multiple groups involved, is a way of bringing people closer to the action and the characters, and breaking it out of church buildings, where it is often left to stagnate.”