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Saturday, March 30, 2013

'In remembrance of Thy most sorrowful Passion': Jesus crucified in Trafalgar Square as thousands watch Good Friday re-enactment

London square attracts thousands to watch passion play on Good Friday
Violent spectacle shows trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus
Christ played by actor James Burke-Dunsmore, who specialises in the role

By HUGO GYE

Crowds: Thousands turned out to watch the play in the heart of central London

A group of actors today marked Good Friday by re-enacting the crucifixion of Christ in a passion play in London's Trafalgar Square.
The square was packed with thousands of onlookers commemorating the day Jesus is believed to have been killed by the Romans, two day before miraculously rising from the dead on Easter Sunday.
Brisk temperatures did not deter the audience from experiencing the time-honoured tradition of the passion play.

Beginnings: Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey to a welcome of palm leaves

King of Kings: The 41-year-old actor bears a striking physical resemblance to traditional depictions of Jesus

Dramatic performances of the last hours of Jesus' life are a key part of the Easter celebration in many European countries, and this year worshippers from around the world have been pictured re-enacting the events of Good Friday.
The tradition has been less strong in Britain but has seen a resurgence in recent years, with more than a dozen performances taking place in the UK today.
The play was put on twice in Trafalgar Square by the Wintershall Players, a group based in Surrey and founded by enthusiast Peter Hutley.

Torment: The play follows Christ as he drags the cross through Jerusalem wearing a crown of thorns

The role of Jesus was taken by James Burke-Dunsmore, a 41-year-old actor who has used his striking looks to carve out a career niche playing Christ.
He has played the part nearly 60 times all around the country - and before each performance, he weaves his own crown of thorns.
Adding to the physical toll of playing Jesus is the heavy cross he carried around Trafalgar Square today, made from two real tree trunks.

Violent: The story was told in brutal honesty with shocking levels of blood and gore

Past performances have been even more painful, however - once an amateur actor in Leicester hit him so hard with a mallet while miming driving the nails in that Mr Burke-Dunsmore had to go to hospital with fractured ankles.
Although the actor insists he does not suffer from delusions of grandeur while portraying his illustrious subject, he has in the past channelled the Christian spirit to get out of sticky situations.
Mr Blake-Dunsmore once walked past a group of warring drunks in Edinburgh while wearing his Jesus costume - and stopped to tell them the parable of the prodigal son.

Giving up the ghost: The grand setting was well suited to the epic storyline

But instead of turning on him, the men enthusiastically acted out parts in the story and insisted he finish the tale.
Today's play featured the judgement of Jesus in front of Pontius Pilate, followed by the journey through the streets of Jerusalem wearing the crown of thorns and carrying the cross.
The dramatic highlight of the performance was the crucifixion itself, when Christ and two thieves were strung up on crosses with nails in their hands and feet.

Remembrance: A huge crowd gathered for the dramatic reenactment in Trafalgar Square

Performance: The Trafalgar Square drama was one of 15 passion plays taking place around Britain

source: dailymail



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