Murray Leyden, son of famed cartoonist, Jock Leyden, stands with a copy of his father’s sketch of a former Durban Passion Play from the eighties, surrounded by hundreds of Leyden images.
Leyden Senior was an internationally acclaimed cartoonist, particularly in the field of sport; but he was also much admired for his theatre, social commentary and political cartoons. He was singled out by Time magazine as one of the Top Six Newspaper Cartoonists of the 20th century.
His work was first published in 1927 in The Natal Advertiser which was to become the Natal Daily News in 1936 and The Daily News in 1962. He made a major contribution towards the popularity of this Durban daily newspaper.
Leyden Jnr is pictured in the Leyden Gallery at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on UKZN campus – which honours Leyden’s enormous body of work depicting thousands of members of the Durban Theatre community – including images of the Durban Passion Play.
Murray Leyden appears in the Durban Passion Play as Pontius Pilate. This is the third time that he has reprised this role.
The Durban Catholic Players’ Guild present the15th Durban Passion Play, fondly known as the “Oberammergau of Africa” performed by a large cast of 130 people who volunteer their time and skills as part of their Lenten preparations. The Passion Play strives to restore the true meaning of Easter. It is an epic scale dramatic production depicting Jesus’ Passion, covering the final period of his life from his visit to Jerusalem to his execution by crucifixion and ending with the Resurrection. It comes to the Playhouse Drama Theatre from 6 – 16 April for a 14-performance season over Easter. (Book at Webtickets). The Passion Play is staged every five years.

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