Love Reigns In Durban Passion Play

Playhouse Drama: 25 March – 12 April
The Durban Passion Play embodies love – both spiritual and secular!
This quite extraordinary event – hosted by the Durban Catholic Players’ Guild which takes place every five years – comes to the Playhouse Drama Theatre from 25 March until 12 April.
Cast members claim their involvement in the Passion Play to be life-changing in a myriad way. For one family this is certainly the case.
Cuan Saunders and his sister Angela Stewart are Passion Play die-hards. And through the Passion Play both siblings met the love of their lives. Cuan met his wife Chantal, and Angela met husband Malcolm while in the cast of the Passion Play.
The Passion Play is very much part of the family’s five-yearly ritual, and their children are now part of the cast too. This is Cuan’s sixth, Chantal’s third, Angela’s seventh and Malcolm’s sixth production.
“I have been involved in the Passion Play since I was 11. I met my wife here in 2005 and it is part of my life,” says Cuan. This stay at home Dad is the production’s graphic designer and plays the role of John, and is probably the only non-Christian in the production. A ballet dancer for 25 years, wife Chantal is the production’s choreographer and dances in the show. Their children little Liam (4) and Shaylee (8) are in the production too. It is Liam’s first and Shaylee’s second production.
Angela, a pre-school teacher and Malcolm, an advocate, have been in six productions together. Malcolm plays Nathaniel and Angela is a crowd member. Their children, both accomplished piano players, are on stage too – Alexander, their son (15) has been in three productions, and his sister Catherine (10) is in her second.
So performing in the Passion Play during February, the universal month of love, is exactly the right thing for these families to be doing!
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 is performed by a large cast who volunteer their time and skills as part of their Lenten preparations. The play involves seven months of commitment from a 150-plus cast who receive no remuneration.
• The Passion Play comes to the Playhouse Drama Theatre from 25 March until 12 April. There are day-time and evening performances. Public booking is through Webtickets. Block bookings and entire performances can be purchased through Dominic Sandiah on 082 460 7677

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