Passion Play The Last Days is being staged in a Bolton church to celebrate the Easter story

Greater Manchester church hosting spectacular Passion play to celebrate Easter

More than 30 people are in the cast for the lavish retelling of the story of death and resurrection which is at the heart of the Christian faith.

The Easter story is being brought to life in spectacular fashion on stage this week in Greater Manchester.

Passion play The Last Days is being put on at The Bridge Church in Bolton, which has a large and well-equipped theatre, for three nights starting this evening (Wednesday 6 April).

Director Rob Slater, who has appeared in small roles in TV shows such as Peaky Blinders, is leading a cast of more than 30 through the two-hour show dramatising the final days of Jesus.

In 11 scenes the Passion play tells the Easter story from Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem to his arrest, betrayal and torture, his crucifixion and his resurrection when he returned from the dead.

Previous Passion plays have been put on at Easter in Bolton and attracted massive crowds, while a high-profile one in Manchester was televised.

The cast ranges from experienced actors to theatrical newcomers and there is a sense of relief that the production is happening this year as it was previously scuppered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Director Rob, who also plays the central role of Jesus, says he hopes the production will appeal to Christians and those who do not share the faith.

He said: “For believers this is a chance to relive the Easter story. For non-believers it’s a chance to question what they are seeing. Is this guy a prophet or is he actually the Messiah?”

The Passion play The Last Days is being staged from tonight (Wednesday 6 April) until Friday 8 April. Performances start at 7.30pm.

Photographer Phil Taylor snapped these stunning images of the play being brought to life at its dress rehearsal.

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