Twist in reenactment's tale
Next year's powerful reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus in the city centre promises to tell the Easter story in a different way to previous years.
The Christ in the Centre event, held each year on Good Friday, will be given a new twist by children's author Meg Harper.
It will be based on her play, The First Easter, which has been performed in both the UK and US.
She has joined the event's producers and is writing fresh scenes to extend the original script, which will premiere at the event in Easter 2013.
It is also the first year the play will be staged twice in one day.
Rev Stephen Foster, Anglican chaplain to Leicester University, and joint chairman of the event's organising committee, said: "One of the strengths of performing this in the heart of Leicester's shopping area is the opportunity to bring the true Easter message to a much wider audience than we have done before.
"We hope holding the second performance in the afternoon will increase the effectiveness of this outreach."
The event's organisers are also asking anyone who would like to be part of this year's religious reenactment to attend one of the two casting workshops being held in December.
Casting workshops will take place tomorrow and on Saturday, December 8, at St Andrew's Community Hall, in Jarrom Street, Leicester.
Both workshop sessions begin at 11am.
The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens, welcomed thousands of people to last year's event, which cost £40,000 to stage.
Hoards of spectators packed out Humberstone Gate and joined in prayer before watching the traditional Bible story unfold – with some audience members being brought to tears by the powerful narrative.
The play's new artistic director, Sarah Chiswell-Hornett, creative projects producer at The Castle Theatre, in Wellingborough, has been tasked with recreating the passionate atmosphere of the event.
She said: "We want the event to be a community-based telling of the Easter story, using a combination of theatre and music, which will bring people together in the heart of Leicester."
The play's writer Meg Harper has previously penned scripts for similar events in Warwick, where her story The Day They Killed The Son of God was performed on Good Friday in 2007.
This year's performance of The First Easter will take place in Humberstone Gate, at 10.30am and 2pm.