by Ladislas Fodor

The Judge Charles Spencer
The Prosecutor Chris Maskell
The Defence Counsel Nan Armitage
The Gardener - the defendent David Carter
The Guard Bill Newbold
Esther - a country girl Joy Newbold
Lucius - a soldier David Jackman
Mrs. Pinchas - a shopkeeper Majorie Stoneham
Joseph - a wealthy lawyer Peter Beck
Lady Procula - the Govenor's wife Josie Fennell
Pontius Pilate - the Govenor Robert Snell
Saul - a deputy John Yunnie
Beulah - a barmaid Frances Yunnie
Sadoc - a private detective Brent Rogers
Susannah - a housewife Vera Newbold
Magdalen - a convert Myrtle Newbury
Peter - a fisherman Don Edwards

Producer Tony Armstrong

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April, 1969
Extract from The Bedfordshire Times by Dina Morris.
Passion play
packed with

IT WAS fortunate for both the audience and the critics this Friday's choice of Passion play, “The Vigil”, by Ladislas Fodor, presented by that excellent group of amateurs, the Wesley Players, was not a complicated religious outburst which aimed to frustrate any understanding of the annual crop of intellectual problems which arise at this time of the year.

It was a simple, clear Easter drama which left the audience with that well-seasoned question: Did the resurrection take place, or was it an ordinary crime—body snatching —carried out by a very ordinary man who dug up the grave and stole the body?

Tony Armstrong's production of this two-hour Easter story, presented at St. Peter's Bedford, and again on Sunday at Putnoe Heights Methodist Church, was good.

It did not always reach the perfection which Mr. Armstrong himself would have liked but he moulded his players into their parts so well that one could only believe that the trial which forms the basis of the Passion Play was justified.


More than justified was Mr. Armstrong's choice of cast. Chris Maskell, as the young, intelligent prosecutor, charged with the task of trying to convict the gardener (David Carter) who is alleged to have stolen the body of Jesus, was the perfect reproduction of all that a good lawyer should be.


He was sincere, never overplaying his lines, and was accurate with his interpretation.

Nan Armitage, was an excellent defence counsel who cross-questioned the witnesses about the little evidence available on the actual deed — and about their religious beliefs.

Miss Armitage excelled both in the sincerity of her belief in the part, and in her belief that her client was innocent.

She was cool, calm and sufficiently outward-thinking in her approach to the part to succeed in excellently balancing the acting of Mr. Maskell.


I particularly liked the slick acting of Peter Beck as a wealthy lawyer who allowed Jesus to be buried in his garden, and Lady Procula, the governor's wife (Josie Fennell), who said what a charming dinner guest Jesus made. They gave evidence as truthfully as they could and held the interest in detail about the happenings at the time of the resurrection.

Two characters who must surely have dispelled any doubt in the minds of the audience on the reality of what took place in Palestine, were Susannah, a confused believer (Vera Newbold), and Mary Magdalen (Myrtle Newbury), who both swore that the resurrection took place.


Judge, Charles Spencer; Prosecutor, Chris Maskell; Defence counsel, Nan Armitage; Defendant, David Carter; guard, Bill Newbold; Esther, Joy Newbold; Lucius, David Jackman; Mrs. Pinchas, Marjorie Stoneham; Joseph, Peter Beck; Lady Procula, Josie Fennell; Pontius Pilate, Robert Snell; Saul, John Yunnie; Beulah, Frances Yunnie; Sadoc, Brent Rogers; Susannah, Vera Newbold; Mary Magdalen, Myrtle Newbury; Peter, Don Edwards.

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