HERDING 150 cast and crew along with throngs of spectators and a roving busker along village streets, down tapered paths, via a community centre before gathering at the parish church, has logistical disaster written all over it. But the Wroughton Passion Play kicked off without a hitch from the Ellendune Centre yesterday to the sound of All You Need is Love performed by the production’s Super Choir.
Amid the din of chatter and music, actors set the scene clad in colourful sashes and costumes. Cast, crew and spectators then headed towards St Joseph’s Church, along Moat Walk before stopping outside The White Hart and then slowly marching up the hill for the finale at Wroughton Parish Church.
As the Saviour's ordeal became worse, the cast’s bright ethnic robes began to gradually drain of colour
Squeezing such a large cast into a small church hall for rehearsals posed a few logistical problems said the play's producer Laura Barnes.
But she added: “Theatre people make anything happen. We’re yes people, we always find a way to adapt.”
The production is partly funded by the Bible Society, Wroughton Church and through crowdfunding.
Director Anna Friend said: “We had five locations and we had to get a moving road closure, the police were involved.
“We had to be in each location for about 20 minutes but the performance doesn’t ever stop so everybody had to stay in character.
"There were also musicians at different points and a busker, Tim Shakespeare, following us around."
Laura who is artistic director of Gatecrash Theatre, was the mastermind behind The Passion Play after the seed of the idea had been planted by Wroughton Parish Church’s Canon Michael Johnson who broached the idea at her grandfather’s funeral.
“He picked an interesting time,” said Laura. “He is really forward thinking. The geography of the town lends itself well to a passion play with the church at the top of the hill. I thought, if we’re going to do it, we have to do it properly and professionally, it has to be something dynamic and amazing.”
Gatecrash's community project featuring just under 150 professional and community performers, 50 crew, 5 locations and 1800 audience members. Produced by Laura Barnes Assistant Producer Natasha Garbutt . Directed by Anna Friend Assistant Director Jamie Carter Stage Management David Jell Photography Elmar Rubio Funded by The Bible Society, Swindon Churches Together and Crowd Funding.
THE BIG PERFORMANCE - WROUGHTON PASSION PLAY
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE - THE AFTER PLAY PARTY