(Craig Lord's article appeared in the Times of London 12/23.)
Christ not Christmas: Passion Play 2010
The 5-hour Passion Play has more than 2,000 actors and has been staged every ten years in Oberammergau, Germany, since the 17th century
Bavaria, land of beer, busty blondes, blokes in leather pants, bracing air, breath-taking views, the bounce and boom of horn and pipe.
A place to take your Oom-pah with a hearty dose of therapeutic salts. But there is something more sobering in the soul of a state that urges visitors to get out their get up and go.
At the deep root of this Catholic corner of Germany lies Oberammergau. Its business is Passion. The Passion. And it has been that way since God was judged to have tested faith with a Plague back in the 17th Century.
We got our first glimpse of the repercussions long before reaching an Alpine village unique to the world. He was sitting at the wheel of our bus at Munich Airport. The absence of matching red outfit, fluffy white collars, black belt, boots and chunky bag fooled few.
Visit the Web site for the Oberammergau Passion Play: http://www.oberammergau-passion.com/en-us/home/home.html
Visit Stage Voices blog for video: http://stagevoices.typepad.com/stage_voices/