As Zoe and I trailed the streets of Manchester in search for wedding rings and a new hairdrier, the BEEB were out in force gearing up for Manchester Passion, a modern retelling of the last hours of Christ's life through Mancunian culture.
The show was a bit rough round the edges, the singing was a bit rusty in places, M-People's songs are as bad as they were ten years ago but that gave something back to a story which has become a bit cliched and well produced so I quite liked it. To quote this today's Guardian, "It all has something of an am dram feel, but that is part of its charm."
I have to say it wasn't what I was expecting. Keith Allen, who narrated the whole thing (as well as playing Pontius Pilate) was brilliant, began by quoting John 3:17- "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him"- and that was the tone of the whole show, unashamedly making it clear that this was and is the most incredible story.
The narrative was on occasions broken up by interviews with people following the procession about what the story means to them. I thought that bit was going to be a low point but it worked really well, even the Christian's spoke well!
Overall a huge thumbs up. Not just for the production but for the notion- for all the theologians out there this is surely contextualisation at it's best???