Twenty years ago Tricia Cowley realized that there were no spiritual celebrations being arranged for the Millennium. So she wrote, directed and created Passion Play 2000, a huge community play involving 50 actors and a choir of another 60 with orchestra, to tell the story of the last days of Jesus on earth. It was a momentous local event and people have been asking her to stage it again ever since.

So - this year we will have Passion Play 2020! Again involving a large cast of local actors, singers and musicians - and it’s wonderful to welcome back many of the cast from 20 years ago, alongside many new faces - it will show the events of Easter, day by day, in different locations all over Dulwich. Dramas, in modern dress and speech, will be complemented by the story sung in Bach’s glorious St Matthew Passion, accompanied by tableaux in Biblical dress and readings from the account in the King James version.

All parts of this community celebration are FREE and open to all.

This is the timetable:


7.00pm, St Barnabas Church - The Passion Choir, with orchestra and soloists, sing the events of the day, illustrated by tableaux in Biblical dress.

8.30pm, St Barnabas Parish Hall - the first modern drama, The Last Supper. Jesus and the Disciples then process, singing, through Dulwich Village to Christ’s Chapel for I Am The Vine before moving to the Garden of Gethsemane in the New Orchard in Gallery Road. Jesus is arrested there and taken to Caiaphas’s house while Peter’s Denial is played outside the Chapel.

GOOD FRIDAY, 10 April:

1.30pm, St John’s Church, Goose Green - the modern Trial of Jesus. After being condemned he takes his Cross and carries it to the site of the Crucifixion, from whence his body is taken by Joseph of Arimathea.

7.30pm St Barnabas Church - the events of Good Friday with the Choir and actors, this time in Biblical dress, to the wonderful arias and choruses of the St Matthew Passion.

EASTER DAY, 12 April:

5.30 am, outside St Stephen’s Church in College Road - The Easter story comes to its triumphant ending early on Sunday morning when Mary Magdalene finds an Angel at the tomb and the risen Jesus greets her in the garden.

All are welcomed to St Stephen’s for the first eucharist of Easter and breakfast!