A few months ago I mentioned that plans were afoot to reprise the Cowley Road Passion Play, first performed in 2012. I was excited to be moved up the bill from Judas to Peter, which is not only a more sympathetic role but also a speaking part. Oh, and I would have got to wave a sword around and chop off someone’s ear!
However, it turns out that it won’t be happening this Good Friday. Last week the council suddenly overturned earlier advice and insisted that a licence was needed to mount the performance then, after substantial amounts of paperwork had been submitted, declared that the deadline was already past. Highly disappointing. You can read a reasonable report on the story in the Oxford Mail.
Despite this set back, there will still be a united service at Cowley Road Methodist at 10am this Friday and I am anticipating that this will be followed by the prayer walk that routinely happens when the play is not on. It won’t stop many opportunities to ponder what this story about Jesus, about love, betrayal, death and life is all about in Oxford and beyond and, philosophically, at least it prevents the twin dangers of falling far below the standard set by the debut performance or being even more successful and gaining an audience that would really start to push out dangerously into the road.