Passion Play

by Peter Nichols

Passion Play had 4 performances over 14 years ago (between the 16th of July 2003 and the 19th of July 2003) at The Riverhouse Barn

Peter Nicols\' clever, ingenious play is a dissection of adultery. The title contains a deliberate pun for this is a play about sexual love and suffering and the fragile line which divides them. Bodies may be beautiful but it is in the head where pain and passion live and here love can quickly turn to hate.

James and Eleanor are a couple married for 25 years with grown up children and a life of cosy routine. He restores religious paintings in his garden studio while she sings in a classical choir. This interest in art and music and the passion they express act as a further backdrop to the themes of the play.

Their peace is shattered by the predatory seductress, Kate, whose middle-aged lover has recently died. Now she fastens on to James as the ideal replacement.

This familiar format is sharpened by bringing on to the stage the alter-egos of the two main characters and, by showing the domestic consequences of blithe adultery - the midnight rows, the visits to the shrink, the mental crack-up and the difficulty of parting when passion is dead.

The play is full of wonderful comic observations and the clever use of having two actors play one character means we get to hear both the superficial conversation and what they are really thinking and feeling.

As the audience listens to the glorious, passionate music of Mozart\'s Requiem and Bach\'s St Matthew Passion, they are presented with a modern dilemma - the fidelity proposed by the moralists which can lead to imprisoning tedium and dullness versus the infidelity of the liberalists, which can produce mental torment and suffering.

The play captures the exhilaration and embitterment of physical passion and is also about deceit, loyalty, anguish and emotional pain.

Person small1

Agnes - Jane Walters

Original

Eleanor - Frankie Godliman

Small1

James - Marc Anderson

Small1

Jim - Nick Lund

Person small1

Kate - Helen Murphy

Person small1

Nell - Linda Russell

Person small1

Various non-speaking roles - Graham Botterill

Small1

Various non-speaking roles - Colin Dolley

Person small1

Various non-speaking roles - Ann Philcox

Person small1

Various non-speaking roles - Dennis Philcox

Person small1

Various non-speaking roles - Gillian Smithies

Person small1

Various non-speaking roles - Ian Thomas

Person small1

Various non-speaking roles - Nancy Lund

Small1

Director - Judith Dolley

Small1

Stage Manager - Clare Pinnock

Person small1

Stage Manager (assistant) - Liz Thomas

Small1

Set Construction - John Godliman

Small1

Set Construction (Assisted) - Brian Walters

Person small1

Set Construction (Assisted) - Dennis Philcox

Person small1

Set Construction (Assisted) - Ann Philcox

Person small1

Set Construction (Assisted) - Ian Thomas

Person small1

Set Construction (Assisted) - Simon Usher

Person small1

Set Construction (Assisted) - Jill Payne

Person small1

Scenic Artist - Anne Nunn

Person small1

Lighting - Bill Payne

Person small1

Lighting (Assistant) - Jonathan Miller

Small1

Sound design / operation - Mark Humble

Small1

Sound operation - Ian Santry

Person small1

Photography - Anne Nunn

Person small1

Publicity - Anne Nunn

Original

Publicity - Frankie Godliman

Person small1

Publicity - Gillian Smithies

Person small1

Box Office Manager - Ann Philcox

Small1

Front of House Manager - Keith Bollands