Roman soldiers, middle eastern dress, palm leaves, singing, praying… Marlborough St. Mary’s CEVC Primary School, Preshute Primary School and St Francis School, Pewsey all marked the end of the Spring Term with a performance of a mini Passion Play which retold the Christian Easter story.
Year 5 pupils from St. Mary’s performed the play in St. Mary’s Church, Marlborough while in Preshute Class 4 performed the play twice to students and parents in St. George’s Church. At St Francis School, Pewsey a promenade performance was held in the school grounds and the Hemery Hall.
David Sibson, Headteacher of St Francis said, “The Passion Play performed by Year 6 pupils which focused on the events of the last week of the life of Jesus before his crucifixion and resurrection, was a fitting way to start the Easter holiday. It was wonderful to witness the participation of pupils, parents and staff not only in the service, but also beforehand in the re-enactment through the school grounds, of Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. The St Francis community entered into the spirit of the event with their costumes and palm waving.”
Pupils from all three schools and their parents will be participating in the Marlborough Community Passion Play on Easter Saturday, April 15. Helen Stokes, artistic director and writer of the Marlborough Community Passion Play also wrote the schools’ mini passion plays. Helen told marlborough.news, “I wanted to tell the essence of the Easter story and involve as many pupils as possible. This was a way that the children could become enthused and involved and would draw in the whole community. They did brilliantly.”
Marlborough Community Passion Play on Saturday April 15 is a free event with free parking in Marlborough College grounds (SN8 1PA) from 10am, and on Marlborough Common (SN8 1DL) from 2pm. The High Street is open all day as normal but The Parade will be closed to traffic all day. There will be an influx of Roman soldiers in the town, courtesy of AVG Roman British Re-enactment Society, Legio Secunda Augusta. They will begin the action late morning by arresting Barabbus and other criminals outside the Town Hall (which will be transformed into a temple!)
The main action begins in the High Street at 4pm with the Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem, complete with horses (not donkeys) provided by Riding for the Disabled. The cast of over 60 will continue the story in The Parade where three stages will be erected.
The event is free, due to the generosity of funders and sponsors. There will however, be a collection for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s Air Base Appeal at the end of the production.
The production will go ahead in rain or shine, as long as it is safe to do so. Please come prepared for all sorts of weather, but the organisers ask that you do not use brollies as they will restrict vision for others!
The play does enact the imprisonment, whipping and crucifixion of Christ and all children should be accompanied by an adult. Members of the audience are reminded that they attend the performance on the public streets at their own risk. Should you need assistance please approach either one of the stewards (wearing High Visibility Jackets), or a Roman Soldier!
Helen Stokes told marlborough.news, “This project has been testing in all sorts of ways but it has been a privilege to work with all sorts of people and tap into their creativity. I hope the Passion Play will give people something to remember forever.”