Saturday, April 15, 2006

Manchester Passion update

It was excellent.

I posted last night just before BBC3 broadcast the live passion play from Manchester. At home, babysitting my young daughter, and unable to get out to our church's Good Friday service, I sat down at 9pm.

It was enthralling to watch and listen. The situations and emotions from the "original" (or first) Good Friday are the same situations and emotions that play out in our lives, and are picked up and represented in contemporary music.

Pilate and Jesus each sang the line "Because maybe you're gonna be the one who saves me?" from Wonderwall, and it rang true. Keith Allen - the presenter - as the common man, taking on the role of Judas. Mary longing for Sunshine After the Rain. And the leap forward to the resurrection at the end.

Powerful. True to the story as told in the Bible too. Looks like this year's licence fee was worth paying.

UPDATE: Saturday's Guardian carried a review by Simon Hattenstone: Day that Jesus came to the Arndale Centre.

FURTHER UPDATE: Tuesday's online Broadcast magazine news reports that BBC3 grabbed 3.2% of the 9pm audience with the Manchester Passion. That's an impressive 539,000 viewers - up on the normal 175,000 (0.99%) who tuned in on previous Friday nights this year.

UPDATE GOOD FRIDAY 2007: Programme was repeated again a year later on BBC Three.

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