One thousand volunteers are being sought, to take part in a dramatic televised Passion Play in the city of Preston this Easter.
The Preston Passion is to be fronted by TV Favourite Fern Britton when it is aired on BBC One this Easter.
The 54-year old presenter will anchor a live show on Good Friday, which will include live performance, coupled with three short pre-recorded dramas which will air simultaneously on BBC One, and on a big screen in the centre of Preston.
The Preston Passion is set to involve up to 3,500 residents of the Lancashire city, including local choirs, dancers, and brass bands.
But organisers say they need more volunteers to take part, and are looking to recruit 1000 locals, some of whom will be part of ‘choreographed crowds’, which will move into the shape of a cross.
Hall, festival director at Preston Guild 2012, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the BBC in one of the landmark events of this year’s celebration for the city.
“This major Guild project demonstrates our commitment to delivering a programme of events that will include people from all backgrounds and age groups guaranteeing a production to be proud of.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for anyone who wants to be involved in this amazing production. Previous experience is not essential; instead we’re looking for performers with, commitment, enthusiasm and energy.”
As well as the live action, three specially recorded dramas are set to retell poignant stories of local residents, but along the themes of Pilate, Mary and Jesus.
The dramas, which will be recorded between now and Easter will include a retelling of a fateful decision taken by Preston Mayor Samuel Horrocks, who had to choose how to deal with a strike leader.
In a drama which has clear echoes of the decision faced by Pontius Pilate, the character played by Dr Who and Eastenders star Tom Ellis must choose to show leniency, or to make an example of the trouble maker.
Aaqil Ahmed, Commissioning Editor Religion and Head of Religion & Ethics, says: “I am really proud of this unique partnership with Preston Guild and BBC North which has enabled us to deliver a contemporary take on the universal story of the Passion, which will be brought live to BBC One audiences.
“This stand-out programme is the centre piece of our religious output this Easter and promises to not only be must see television, but also offers local residents a once in a lifetime opportunity to volunteer to become part of this fantastic live event.”
The live event will come to a finale with a rendition of Candy Statton’s American Gospel classic ‘You Got The Love’ by pop star Heather Small.
February 9th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross