Michael Sheen's Port Talbot Passion play reaches finale

Michael Sheen in the Passion Michael Sheen's Christ-like character inspires the masses on the second day of his Passion play

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Actor Michael Sheen's 72-hour performance of The Passion in his home town of Port Talbot reaches its conclusion on Sunday.

Sheen stars as a Christ-like character in the marathon theatre production.

He will be taken to a police cell before a trial and "crucifixion" on a roundabout on Easter Sunday.

More than 1,000 local residents and 15 professional actors are taking part in the National Theatre Wales production at venues across Port Talbot.

The Passion: Times and places

The crowds at Aberavon on Saturday

Sunday

  • THE TRIAL Civic Square 1400 BST
  • THE PROCESSION From Station Road 1700 BST
  • THE CROSS Aberavon Seafront 2000 BST

SOURCE: National Theatre Wales

On Saturday, Sheen had a "last supper" of beer and sandwiches at a social club where the Manic Street Preachers performed.

The play began at 0530 BST on Good Friday with a scene on the seafront inspired by John the Baptist's baptism of Jesus, which was watched by several hundred people who had only heard about it by word of mouth.

The crowd had swelled to thousands by the time the first main part of the play was performed on Aberavon beach at 1500 BST.

Passion plays developed to tell the story of the trial suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

Sheen, known for his portrayals of public figures including Tony Blair and David Frost, has said he was inspired by the community spirit of the passion plays he watched at Margam Park as a youngster.

The production, co-directed by Sheen, largely comprises volunteers including local choirs and youth theatres as well as voluntary groups.

Written by poet and novelist Owen Sheers, it is the last and largest of a series of National Theatre Wales "moving productions" in its first year.

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