Thursday, March 29, 2012


Miracle Play at Chelmsford Cathedral

Jim Hutchon was in the Cathedral:

It is fitting that the Cathedral at the heart of our shiny new city should, in one of its first public showings, play host to a community-wide version of the Passion plays. Director Alison Woollard has kept up this fine tradition with a motley crew of some of the City’s fine amateur actors, Christians and bewildered passers-by, all of whom threw themselves into the play with a ‘passion’.
Jakob Kerek as Jesus was particularly impressive, especially when carrying his cross - the size of a smallish articulated lorry. Escorting him were three knights –a study in cold-blooded cruelty (James French, Kenton Church and William Snagge). His Betrayer Judas (James Crozier) had an especially malevolent air and deserved his rejection when he tried to recant his sin. Blazing through the whole production was the awesome figure of Pilate, played with impressive authority and power by Simon Pothen. A John the Baptist with wheels on his heels (Tonio Ellis) had to be seen to be believed.

The Disciples and assorted onlookers periodically formed themselves in to a highly disciplined choir, led by Kathy Shiels who took on much of the specially written music for this production – composed by Chelmsford’s Patrick Appleford – and made the vaulted rafters of even this august venue ring out.

Since Alison’s last exercise in the Cathedral, we have come to expect something spectacular, and the Cross didn’t disappoint. This twenty foot construction of welded tube must have caused sleepless hours over its design, erection and safety by Tech Director Brian Greatrex and others. It was hoisted by the knights with Jesus ‘nailed’ to it, which hurled him fifteen feet into the air for the closing sequences, to genuine gasps of appreciation from the audience.

production photograph: Robert Hall

1 comment:

Paul Hardy said...

A great performance by all !

The use of language was true to medieval plays of past and made one listen and take notice, The acting was professional and I simply loved Pilate and the use of a young Percula , Annas was a delight to watch, in fact all were great and worth a mention from John the Baptist to Judas.

The performance was slick and technically very very good , well done to all cast and crew, what will you all be doing next ?

Post a Comment