Balwearie teacher feels the passion!

Elaine Palmer
Elaine Palmer

A special needs teacher from Fife is to take one of the leading parts in a large-scale 21st century Passion Play to be performed in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens.

The Edinburgh Passion is a radical new version of the Easter story by award-winning playwright Rob Drummond, setting the action in present-day Scotland on the eve of a referendum.

Elaine Palmer, 44, who lives in Dalgety Bay and teaches in the Department for Additional Support at Balwearie High School, is shedding her normally sunny personality to play a villain, spin-doctor Jane McKayfus.

She said: “I’m normally a bubbly, happy kind of person, and she is a ruthless spin-doctor, and not a very nice person. This is proper acting!

“It’s a really big challenge - and a huge part - I’m hoping I’m up to it.”

The Edinburgh Passion is a large-scale community production, and the majority of cast and crew are volunteers.

In previous years, crowds of up to 4500 have flocked to Princes Street Gardens to see a traditional Passion Play, and it is hoped the new contemporary version could attract another big crowd.

Elaine has been acting in Passion Plays in Scotland since they started in 2003. “I’ve always liked drama. I really enjoy doing it. It’s very different from what I do in real life. In community theatre you meet different people from different walks of life and they become lifelong friends.”

She said that Rob Drummond’s contemporary retelling of the story hits the nail on the head.

“When I first read Rob Drummond’s script I was blown away by it. I’m a Christian, so I was interested in telling the story in a fresh and different way. It’s amazing how relevant the story still is, I think the setting we’ve put it into is really interesting for everybody, with Rob adapting it to take in the referendum.

“Rehearsals have been going well but it’s been quite hard to fit it in and learn all my lines as well as having a full-time job, although I get to beat up Jesus which is fun!

“Having one of the main parts is quite daunting but I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure we’ll pull it off!”

The Edinburgh Passion will take place on Saturday April 19 at 2.00 p.m. in Princes Street Gardens. The performance is free and open to all.

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