News: Wintershall’s Passion of Jesus returns to Trafalgar Square as James Burke-Dunsmore plays Jesus for a Final Time

Since its first performance in 2010, Wintershall has presented The Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday. The awe-inspiring full-scale re-enactment of The Passion quickly became a highly anticipated Easter fixture. With an enforced COVID-19 pandemic break in 2020 and 2021, Wintershall are thrilled to be bringing the Passion back home to London on 15 April 2022. 

The story commemorating the day Jesus was arrested, tried and crucified by the Romans, two days before miraculously rising from the dead on Easter Sunday, is brought to life by a cast of over a hundred, dressed in full costume, along with horses, doves and a donkey. 

The professional actor and artist James Burke-Dunsmore will play Jesus in Trafalgar Square for an 11th and final time. He is a specialist in large-scale outdoor theatre and has been involved with Wintershall’s plays since 1998, playing Jesus in both The Passion of Jesus and The Life of Christ and Archangel Michael and Herod in the Wintershall Nativity.  

The rest of the Wintershall company is made up of volunteer actors and stage crew from in and around London and the South East.  

Featuring realistic scenes and a moving crucifixion and resurrection, The Passion of Jesus is an unforgettable Easter experience, embracing those of all faiths and none. 

Supported by the Mayor of London, the open-air production, performed in the shadow of the National Gallery, regularly attracts more than 20,000 people to its two performances.  

This year, The Passion will be performed at 12 noon and 3:15pm. Both will be livestreamed via Facebook (www.facebook.com/Wintershallplays) and will subsequently be available to watch on Wintershall’s YouTube channel ( www.youtube.com/user/wintershallplayers).

2022 will see the Wintershall Passion performed in both Bishop Auckland and Worcester and Wintershall are committed to helping other towns and cities across the UK to stage The Passion in 2023 as part of their One Good Friday project, created to tell the story of Easter to a new audience. 

The Passion play in London is directed by Ashley Herman and produced by Charlotte de Klee.  The Wintershall Cast are famous for their epic re-enactments of stories from the Scriptures.  They also perform the extraordinary Life of Christat the Wintershall Estate in Surrey every June (21-25 June 2022) and the now-famous Wintershall Nativity each Christmas (14-19 December 2022).

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I’m delighted that thousands of people will once again be able to witness the re-telling of the Easter story in Trafalgar Square. For more than a decade, The Passion of Jesus has brought together people from all backgrounds with its lasting message of compassion and courage. It has been an inspiration and source of strength to millions and its return is another great example that our capital is once again ready to host major events for Londoners and visitors from around the world.”

Wintershall producer, Charlotte de Klee said: “All of us at Wintershall are so excited to be coming back to Trafalgar Square on Good Friday to perform The Passion. It is a play that speaks not only to those of the Christian faith, but to those of other faiths and traditions and those that have no personal beliefs.  Over the years the vast audiences the play has attracted stand as testimony to that fact.  That it takes place in a world-famous space at the heart of the capital speaks much for the tolerance and diversity that is found in London. We hope many will join us in the square to watch this life-changing drama.”

For more information visit https://www.wintershall.org.uk

Photo credit: Jo Pomeroy

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