MEMBERS of the Antonine Guard living history society are taking part in the Edinburgh Passion Play tomorrow.
The play remembers Jesus’s death on Good Friday ahead of his resurrection on Easter Day.
Up to 3,000 people are expected to watch the play, which has been staged each Easter since 2005.
Director Suzanne Lofthus said: “It’s easy to forget that the events of the first Easter took place in an occupied nation.
“The Roman occupation was brutal and violent – Jesus was crucified on a Roman cross.
“[Members of the] Antonine Guard have brought a new sense of threat into the play and look magnificent in their Roman costumes and armour.
“It will truly feel that we are in an occupied nation – sadly something we still understand in the world today.”
This year, the role of the narrator has been combined with that of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ disciples.
Alison Parkinson, who is taking on the combined role, said: “In our version, she is a female disciple, right up there and part of the action.
“The historical research I’ve done suggests this is quite correct, there were women who followed and supported Jesus’ ministry.
“I hope that having the story narrated by a woman will give a different perspective, and show people that there is a story there for women too.”
Members of the Antonine Guard use authentic Roman costumes and weapons.
The group was formed in 1996.
John Richardson, one of the founders of The Antonine Guard, said: “This is a great opportunity to bring history alive to the audience who may not be familiar either with the story or with the Romans.
“Although crucifixion was a ghastly deed, the actual Roman soldier was doing just what he had been ordered to do by the state, and we can see this approach even today around the world.”
Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s culture pages.
Plus, don’t miss author Alexander McCall Smith’s column in the April issue of Scottish Field magazine.