Manchester Passion

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Manchester Passion
Created byAndy King-Dabbs
Written byAndy King-Dabbs & Stephen Powell
Presented byKeith Allen
StarringDarren Morfitt
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Producer(s)Andy King-Dabbs & Stephen Powell[1]
Running time60 minutes
Original networkBBC Three
Original release14 April 2006 (Good Friday)

Manchester Passion is a British television special which was broadcast by BBC Three on 14 April 2006.[2] Created and scripted by Andy King-Dabbs and Stephen Powell as a follow-up to BBC Classical Music's previous BBC Three special, Flashmob — The Opera, it was a contemporary retelling of the Passion of Jesus Christ set to British popular music, broadcast live from various locations in Manchester, England, culminating with the procession of a large, lighted cross to the main stage at Albert Square.[3] The broadcast was presented and narrated by Keith Allen, and starred Darren Morfitt as Jesus. Denise Johnson played Mary, Tim Booth played Judas, and Nicholas Bailey played Peter. Music was provided by a 16-piece string orchestra and soloists on accordion, cello, and guitar.[4] The BBC Executive Producer was Sue Judd and the music arrangements were by Philip Sheppard.

While originally held as a one-off event, Dutch producer Jacco Doornbos created a localized version of the special known as The Passion, which was first broadcast in the Netherlands in 2011. The Passion has since been broadcast annually in different Dutch cities, and its format has also been exported to other countries, including Belgium and the United States.[5][6][7] In 2020 there will be another British version, held in Cardiff.[8]




The production was praised by Bishop of Manchester Nigel McCulloch, who felt that Manchester Passion had "a sincerity and an ability to shock and connect that is not far removed from how it must have been on the first Good Friday."


  1. ^ Kirby, Dean (15 February 2007). "Easter marked with a passion". Manchester Evening News.
  2. ^ "Manchester re-enacts Crucifixion". BBC News. 15 April 2006.
  3. ^ "Day that Jesus came to the Arndale Centre". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  4. ^ "BBC THREE invites public to Manchester Passion". Channel Ten. 6 April 2006. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  5. ^ Nelson, Carrie. "7 Facts about Fox's next live musical, The Passion". SheKnows. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  6. ^ "TV Top 25: The Passion en dan heel lang niets". Metro (in Dutch). 5 April 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Fox To Air 'The Passion' Live Musical About Jesus Hosted By Tyler Perry". Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  8. ^

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