Passion Play



The Lady Grey Arts Academy and Dutch Reformed Church of Lady Grey identified a need to restore Easter and in particular, the Easter Weekend, back to its original meaning. This weekend has, over time, lost its true purpose and character and became just another “long holiday weekend”.

In order to succeed in this effort, the Christian community of Lady Grey as a whole had to become involved on a voluntary basis, creating a three day period on the annual calendar during which the hustle of everyday life could come to a standstill and the events of Easter could be relived in the true spirit of devotion. This event not only benefits the community of Lady Grey, but visitors from all over South Africa with similar aspirations for Easter, can come together and share in person and in spirit the true meaning of Easter, whilst experiencing the talent and beauty of the atmospheric town of Lady Grey.

The Lady Grey Passion Play includes a cast of 130 speaking characters as well as a chorus, choir, troupe of dancers and live visual artists.

The dramatic text, written by staff of the Lady Grey Arts Academy, was adapted by Johan Hattingh, Head of Dramatic Arts at the Academy for this Lady Grey community project. It incorporates music, dance, drama and visual art to create a breathtaking work to be performed in various venues and at different locales in and around the atmospheric town. This is not just a work to be watched, but invites active participation from the spectators. Audience members are invited to dress in period costume and eat the foods of the time.


The Lady Grey Passion Play strives to restore the religious character of Easter Weekend by bringing together as many people from the various church denominations as possible, to relive visually and physically the birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


  • To restore the Christian character of Easter.
  • To create a family event in which all Christians, young and old, locally and from elsewhere, can become involved.
  • To utilize the special talent of this semi-rural town and in particular that of the Lady Grey Arts Academy.
  • To utilize the aura and assets of Lady Grey.
  • To inspire as many Christian people to unite and to share in the bringing to life on stage the birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • To praise and to give thanks to God our Eternal Father.
  • To turn Lady Grey into the Oberammergau of South Africa.
  • To create and present a unique event on a scale never undertaken before in South Africa.