The Lady Grey Passion Play brings scenes from Christ’s birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven magnificently to life.
Originated by the local Dutch Reformed Church, the Passion Play is a joint venture between the Lady Grey Arts Academy, the Dutch Reformed Church and the community of Lady Grey to spread the Gospel in a very special way. Its unique feature is the combination of various arts disciplines to tell the story.
It goes without saying that Drama and Acting is involved, but that is not all. The Altech Concert Choir also performs a number of sacred choral works, appropriate to particular moments in the play (Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, selections from Mozart’s Requiem and other classical and contemporary choral pieces). During the course of the Passion Play, audiences have the opportunity to see classical ballet as well as more modern dancing as part of the narrative. Throughout the production, fine art is also utilised to enhance the themes and emotion of the play.
With a cast of roughly 160 performers, this three-day production over Easter weekend takes place in various venues and at various locales in and around the picturesque town of Lady Grey. The cast members are all members of the Lady Grey community, including teachers, farmers, business people, pensioners and all other walks of life, as well as learners from the prestigious Lady Grey Arts Academy.
During the years it has grown from strength to strength. What started as a relatively small production, with an audience of approximately 100, has grown into a semi-professional production, attracting hundreds of people from all over the country to Lady Grey during Easter Weekend.
The complete production is community-based and is planned, performed and directed by voluntary members of the Lady Grey community. Most of the costumes and props are locally-made, relying on members of the community to assist in this enormous task.
The Passion Play starts on Good Friday at 14:00 and only ends on Easter Sunday. The epic history unfolds in three main parts over the three days that it takes to perform the entire script: the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah, Christ’s early life and the start of his ministry; Christ’s miracles, teachings, capture and death; Christ’s resurrection, ascension and the founding of the early church.
About 600 visitors are expected to descend on Lady Grey from 25 – 27 March 2016 to see this truly unique production, aimed at exposing as many people as possible to the joy of Easter Weekend.
Visitors are challenged to become part of the action by dressing up in period costume, and participating in responses and symbolic actions during the course of the performances.
The Lady Grey Passion Play strives to restore the religious character of Easter Weekend by bringing together as many people from the various church denominations as possible, to relive visually and physically the birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
To restore the Christian character of Easter.
To create a family event in which all Christians, young and old, locally and from elsewhere, can become involved.
To utilize the special talent of this semi-rural town and in particular that of the Lady Grey Arts Academy.
To utilize the aura and assets of Lady Grey.
To inspire as many Christian people to unite and to share in the bringing to life on stage the birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
To praise and to give thanks to God our Eternal Father.
To turn Lady Grey into the Oberammergau of South Africa.
To create and present a unique event on a scale never undertaken before in South Africa.