A BALD Jesus will have his last supper tonight after being poached from a rival crucifixion.
Follically-challenged Dan Silve, 51, will become Jesus in the four-part Lewes Passion Play, having previously performed as part of Brighton’s Soul By the Sea crucifixion.
Mr Silve is one of no less than four Jesuses roaming Sussex this weekend.
Three will be nailed to crosses across the county with at least two being resurrected before the holiday is over. Organiser of the Lewes production Eleanor Austin explained the difficulties of staging a passion play in 2015.
She said: “We had a casting call but we had more difficulty getting a donkey because one of our old donkeys couldn’t be used because she was pregnant – the other one was older than 40 so too old for a big procession.”
She added: “Dan used to be involved in Soul By the Sea in Brighton.
“He heard we were looking for Jesus and came to us. He had never played Jesus in a full passion play production before but has played Jesus for some scenes and been in other roles.
“Dan’s bald. We go for the character rather than the physical appearance.”
However, the organisers of the Brighton production said they did not feel the actor had behaved like Judas for his treachery.
Mr Silve has previously performed as Jesus in their roadshow productions as well as performing as John the Baptist and as a pharisee in their Passion Play.
Soul By the Sea will this year be returning to the beach for a resurrection. However, their Jesus will not be wearing a crown of thorns and nailed to a cross. Instead an impromptu procession will carry Jesus’ body through Brighton city centre tomorrow.
Then Jesus, played by Italian born actor Francesco Asturaro, will be resurrected on the beach on Sunday.
Soul By the Sea administrator Danny Pegg said: “Dan is still involved with us and there has been a lot of discussion between the two productions so there are no hard feelings and it doesn’t come as any surprise to us.
“The Lewes production only happens every five years so it’s a much bigger thing. “We did the full Passion Play on the beach a few years ago but it was a bit of a logistical nightmare so we wanted to do something a bit different. This is about everything that happens after the crucifixion.”
Meanwhile the traditional Moulsecoomb crucifixion also has a new Jesus.
Joe Salvage, 12, takes over the mantle of bearing the cross from his older brother Jack.
Diary of local religious events for the Easter weekend
TODAY – MAUNDY THURSDAY
8pm Last Supper, Priory Ruins, Lewes.
Noon: Act Of Witness on the Green in Moulsecoomb.
1pm: Lewes Passion Play for Holy Week 2015. Procession from Cliffe Precinct, Lewes, via Friars Walk, Lansdown Place, Southover Road, Garden Street, Priory Street, Mountfield Road to the Mount for crucifixion at around 2pm.
2pm: Moulsecoomb Passion Play including the crucifixion.
Jesus’ body to be carried through Brighton in an impromptu procession at an unspecified time during the day.
2pm: Resurrection on Brighton beach in front of Fishing Museum opposite the Old Ship Hotel.
3pm: Unexpected Reality, the resurrection at Lewes Priory Ruins.
4pm: A second performance of the resurrection on Brighton beach.