…or John, or Salome, or Judas, or…

After the phenomenal success of the BBC TV Series ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria’, where a member of the public was selected to play the lead in a West End show, other similar series followed hot on its heels. We have had Any dream will do (Joseph and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat) Over the rainbow (Wizard of Oz) and the amusingly named You could be Nancy (Oliver). There was something which captured the popular imagination about the idea of an ‘ordinary’ person being catapulted to an extraordinary role.

This year EasterLIVE gives anyone with a computer and an internet connection the opportunity to do the same. With a little thought and preparation, you could participate in the retelling of the Easter story, putting your words in the mouth of Mary, John, Salome, Judas, or any one of the named and un-named characters who people the story.

Isn’t this just a little blasphemous?  Aren’t we taking a risk by allowing people to phrase this most sacred of stories in their own words?  It is no more risk than churches in Europe take when they ask local residents to act out a passion play. It is arguably no more risk than when God allowed his good news to be lived out in a grubby world rather than dropped seamlessly from the heavens.

As EasterLIVE unfolds, we shall doubtless find some unusual words on the lips of familiar characters. We may even find some of them offensive. In the midst of the surprise and offence, though, we should expect moments of revelation, like shafts of sunlight breaking through a dusty window pane. Both writers and readers could find themselves drawn into the story as never before – and that can only be a good thing.

 

"You could be Nancy" (Image: Daily Mail)

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