Congratulations on last Sunday’s “Stagger Through”! To be able to run the whole play from start to finish, only six weeks after beginning rehearsals, is an achievement in itself. That so much of it was so watchable at this stage, is testimony to the hard work that so many of you have put in, in rehearsals so far. Shane is doing magnificently with so much of the burden of the show resting on his shoulders. I hope that his example, of being so on top of so many of his lines, will spur those with many fewer lines to get them fully learned in quick time!
Of course, the halting nature of some of the scenes reminds us all that the hard work now really begins. We must firmly cement in our minds not just the lines, but the movements and motivations that shape our characters in every scene. We must remember that we each “exist” in real time for the whole duration of the play and must not lose concentration by being drawn into watching the scenes in which we personally do not take part.
It was very impressive to see Hannah, Katy and the crew work so efficiently with not just the microphone changes and complications but also all the props and such scenery as we were able to put in place. All the crew are doing a wonderful job and making my life so much easier by their diligent attendance at all rehearsals.
So much of the play is close to being fabulous. The characters of all the main protagonists are secure. The Pilates and the Council are really sparking off one another and all our crowd are adding the realism that our “Jerusalem” demands if it is to become “real” for those who come to see the play. Our “Legion” is growing and under fine command, perhaps just still being a little too nice for a fascist occupying power!
Our Monday night rehearsal of the Council was a thrilling improvement on the foundations laid before and if all our other scenes take the same leaps forward from here, we will truly achieve the dramatic standards that our subject matter requires.
“The enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood!”
God bless, Kevin.x
Advent this year is doubly exciting, heralding as it does both the coming of The Lord and the imminent commencement of the fellowship of the Passion Play 2020! The play is now cast and I must thank everybody for their co-operation and commitment in accepting casting decisions and willingness to take up the mantle of their roles.
Those of you who volunteered as choir or musicians please keep a lookout for notification of your first meeting, which Mac will be organising shortly.
Backstage the committee are tirelessly arranging all the licences, insurances etc. as well as all the technical production paraphernalia that seems to appear by magic but takes months of meticulous planning and organisation.
Fundraising continues and our next event is “Voices for Christmas” – downloadable posters and details may be found on the website – and this will also be the perfect opportunity for those of you who have purchased tickets for “Burns Night” to exchange cash or cheques for the tickets ordered. That event sold out within days of the tickets being available but if you still wish to support the evening, we are looking for sponsors for the 5 “Chieftain” haggises to be consumed and for the “Neeps n’ Tatties”. A generous donor has already sponsored the “wee dram” for everybody.
Pre-publicity will shortly be available for people to start sticking up in their homes and workplaces and car windows etc. as we set about the task of making sure that our message reaches as wide an audience as is possible.
And if anyone has missed the casting process so far, but still wishes to be involved, please bring them along or invite them to join us for the first read-through on Sunday January 5th.
In the meantime, may I wish you all a very happy and Holy Christmastide.
God bless, Kevin.x
It's that time in our five-yearly cycle - we need to start publicising next year’s play and recruiting company members to make it all possible.
Speaking at local churches - September 2019
We need volunteers to speak at church services throughout Havering on the Sundays in September. Would you be willing to attend a local church and share your experiences of being in the play to enthuse others to take part? You'd only need to talk for a few minutes and potentially answer any questions the congregation have. If so, please email us to confirm or if you'd like to know more.
We will be running a training session for all volunteers at 3pm on Sunday 1st September at St. Andrew’s Church in Hornchurch. Obviously, the more volunteers, the more Churches we can cover and the less the burden of time commitment for any individual.
Please do remember to keep the play in your prayers - it's an amazing opportunity to share the Gospel in our local communities and we look forward to making the 2020 play the biggest yet!
Thanks and God bless
In just over a year, the green beside the Queen’s theatre once more becomes Jerusalem! Yes, the time has flown, and the Hornchurch Passion Play is only twelve short months from being in full swing of rehearsal and production! So now is the opportunity to consider how each of us may prosper this endeavour. For those who have been involved before, a reminder call to gird one's loins for another Biblical adventure and for those who may have thought of taking part but, for whatever reason, have not come forward in the past, to ask themselves if this opportunity to witness to their faith in their local community is just the challenge for which they have been waiting.
In September, we will be calling for volunteers to visit church services across the borough to talk about and publicise The Play. In this age of technology, we will be asking for people to visit our website and register their sphere of interest for although most people only see the performers of our end-product, there are a myriad of ways to contribute to the production: Actors, singers and musicians certainly; but also, stage crew, prayer-supporters, stewards, first-aiders, rehearsal tea-and-coffee makers, props and costume gatherers and makers, scene-builders and painters, publicity spreaders, copiers and printers etc. etc. Join the mailing list if you'd like to stay updated on the plans or express an interest in any of the above roles.
Jesus said “Many are called, and few are chosen” but for the Hornchurch Passion Play, many are called and ALL are chosen. Wherever a volunteer’s talents lie we can utilise those skills to tell, as vividly as we may, the greatest story ever told.
In October, there will be a big meeting for anyone interested in any aspect of the event, followed by several Sundays of auditions for actors. By mid-December, the cast will be finalised and announced and on the first Sunday of January 2020 the first read-through of the whole play will kick-off rehearsals proper.
In September 2018, Hornchurch hosted the national Passion Trust Conference where we were held up as an example for other Passion Plays up and down the country to emulate. Our first performances were in 1995 and we have been raising our standards five-yearly since then. Easter 2020 will be the sixth incarnation of the Play and, after 25 years at the helm, will be the last that I will direct. I hope to make it the biggest and best yet so entreat you to consider seriously whether this time you will join us too.
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