Nick Warburton

The People’s Passion

The People’s Passion

A Full-Cast BBC Radio Drama


Five original dramas about life, love and death in a cathedral close in Holy Week

Cathedrals are at the heart of our cities. Beautiful, imposing and steeped in history, they were once potent symbols of temporal power and technological wonder. But what do they mean to us today? These five linked dramas explore how our great cathedrals – borderlands between God and people – embody the complexities and contradictions of faith in 21st century Britain.

Penned by award-winning dramatist Nick Warburton and set in a fictional cathedral in the week leading up to Easter, the plays tell the ‘small stories’ of the people who live, work and visit there. Each is centred around different characters, with themes echoing the Gospel accounts of the last days of Christ.

Coming to Jerusalem introduces us to Ellen, a volunteer in the shop seeking respite from problems at home; and in Betrayal, we meet Callum, who has two loves: singing and his fiancée, Sonia. Last Supper finds Vice-Dean Clive and verger Graham breaking bread with two very different guests, while Trial focusses on Samir, who has come to the Cathedral to remember the dead – but is not made welcome. In The Road to Emmaus, it’s Good Friday – a big day for Robert, the Cathedral’s Director of Music. As he prepares for the afternoon service and the evening’s performance by the Voluntary Choir, he finds himself beset by confusion...

Starring David Bradley, Adjoa Andoh, Don Gilet, James Fleet, Sarah Gordy and Claire Rushbrook, these poignant plays feature original music specially composed for the series by Sasha Johnson Manning, with lyrics by the poet Michael Symmons Roberts.

Production credits
Written by Nick Warburton
Produced and directed by Jonquil Panting
Original music by Sasha Johnson Manning, with lyrics by Michael Symmons Roberts
Performed by:
Manchester Chamber Choir, directed by Christopher Stokes, with Jeffrey Makinson (organ), Rob Shorter (tenor), Rebecca Whettam (cello), Jahan Hunter (trumpet) and Holly Marland (recorder)
BBC Singers with Eleanor Gregory (soprano), Margaret Cameron (alto), Chris Bowen (tenor), Stephen Charlesworth (bass) and Andrew Earis (piano)
Andrew Kirk (organ), and the choir of Saint Mary Redcliffe, Bristol

The Old Man – David Bradley
Ellen – Adjoa Andoh
Graham – Kim Wall
Paul – Jim Norton
Clive – Don Gilet
Caroline – Alex Tregear
Robert – James Fleet
Priest/Jo – Tracy Wiles
Callum – Harry Livingstone
Sonia – Rina Mahoney
Hannah – Emerald O'Hanrahan
James Greenstock – Gerard McDermott
Samir – Shane Zaza
Alice – Sarah Gordy
Rebecca – Claire Rushbrook
Lynne – Tina Gray
Priests – Adjoa Andoh & Peter Hamilton-Dyer
With James Lailey

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 2-6 April 2012

© 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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