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Hornchurch Passion Play: You’re Getting It Wrong

This evening, whilst on our way to morris-dancing practice (Royal Liberty Morris in Hornchurch), my eldest daughter and I were greeted by the sight of a Passion play taking place in the car park of the Queen’s Theatre on Billet Road. It was quite the spectacle – mainly due to the hideous amounts of Fail on display. Unable to procure a donkey for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem on, they’d found a white pony as a substitute. The Roman soldiers looked like a bunch of riot police complete with batons. They managed to lose the crown of thorns, so Jesus had to be crucified wearing a natty pair of white boxers and a neon green party hat.

Yes, really. Neon green.

What really took the biscuit however was the Nazi Sanhedrin. Dressed all in black robes, they sat on a podium beneath red banners bearing a white circle and a black Imperial eagle.

I’ll leave you to think about the sheer offensiveness of that for a minute. Jesus being condemned to death by Nazi Stormtrooper Jews.

Apparently it was the final dress rehearsal for the Hornchurch Passion Play, which takes place roughly every five years. I have no idea who was responsible for the gross offensiveness of likening the Jews to the Nazis; the sheer insensitivity being displayed is frankly staggering though. I’m fairly certain that the third Station of the Cross (or first Station if you’re going the traditional instead of scriptural route) is not supposed to resemble the Nuremberg Rally complete with Nazi regalia….

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About arkadyrose

Genderqueer artist, singer, musician, writer, tailor, mead-mazer and doll crafter living in Walthamstow, NE London. Periodically develop obsessions with various topics; currently it's Paganini, previously Ancient Greece and Alexander the Great, but also fascinated by Ancient Egypt and Romano-British culture. Christo-Pagan.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Hornchurch Passion Play: You’re Getting It Wrong

  1. *sigh* I guess in some ways this is just a new variant a long and dishonourable tradition of antisemitism in Passion plays. Better than taking the make-them-really-obviously-Jewish route, possibly.

    Posted by Adam | Friday, April 22, 2011, 6:58 am
    • Make *every* Jewish character really obviously Semitic. And I particularly include Jesus in this.

      (My mother sends me religious texts regularly. I was very pleased with the book cover that showed a swarthy, curly-haired Jesus with a big nose. As opposed to looking like a white, blue-eyed Renaissance Italian.)

      Posted by David Gerard | Friday, April 22, 2011, 9:23 am

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