IT is said that a picture paints a thousand words, and the power of drama can bring a story to life.
This was the case with the Havant Passion Play of 2015, which told the story of the last week of Jesus’ life, from his arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, through to his arrest, death and burial – finishing with him rising from the tomb.
This weekend, a new play, Jesus in the Park ,will be performed in Havant Park, opposite Havant bus station.
This is a new script, telling the story of some of Jesus’s teaching, healing and miracles.
It will be in the open air and free to attend, at midday and 3pm on the Saturday and 3pm on the Sunday.
It will feature a case of over 40 community actors drawn from local churches across the area, along with James Burke-Dunsmore, who also played Jesus in 2015.
It is a great story told in a new and original way.
Different scenes link together some of Jesus’s healings – the crippled woman, the woman suffering from bleeding, and the healing of a community as a stoning is stopped.
There are miracles too, with the raising of Jairus’s daughter back to life, the resurrection of Lazarus, and the feeding of a great crowd.
That should be a show-stopper.
We also witness some of Jesus’s teaching through parables such as the Good Samaritan, the Great Banquet, and the conflicts Jesus had with the authorities that ended in his arrest.
I have been busy learning lines and stage directions myself, getting comfortable with many props and trying to feel at home in my costume.
I am in the scenes of the feeding of the crowd, and as a hapless servant in the Great Banquet.
The cast also make up the crowds that followed Jesus and witnessed all these things.
Our hope is that such a compelling story will draw our audience into the action and bring it all to life for them.
Whatever happens, I am looking at the Bible differently, and my faith has been deepened by thinking about how people saw Jesus and responded to him.
I hope that our performances may convey something of that energy, life and passion.
n Jesus In The Park will be performed at Havant Park on Saturday at midday and 3pm and Sunday at 3pm.
Admission is free, but take a chair or blanket to sit on.