This is from my youth, I love this musical. The opening notes of Jesus Christ Superstar still send chills down my spine and the plotting of the Pharisees still makes me weep. Jesus is still very topical, two thousand years later.
MICHAEL SHEEN PERFORMS IN THREE DAY PASSION PLAY
Hollywood star Michael Sheen brings Easter message to South Wales by appearing in 72-hour playBy Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:01 PM on 23rd April 2011
Hollywood brought a timely reminder of the Easter message to a beach in South Wales as Michael Sheen embarked on a 72-hour liv e performance. The actor returned to his home town of Port Talbot to play a Christ-like character in a marathon National Theatre Wales production of 'The Passion'. Sheen, whose films include Frost/Nixon and the Twilight saga, is 'living the story' and has immersed himself completely in the role for the weekend. He was sleeping rough on a mountain last night before spending tonight in a police cell and concluding the play on Easter Sunday by being 'crucified' on a roundabout overlooking Port Talbot bay.
More than 1,000 local residents are also taking part in the production, which is being performed at venues across the industrial seaside town including the beach, a shopping centre and a working men's club. The play began at 5.30am on Good Friday with a scene on the seafront inspired by John the Baptist's baptism of Jesus, which was watched by several hundred people who had only heard about it by word of mouth.
By 3pm, when the first main part of the play was performed on Aberavon Beach under an overcast but warm sky, there were thousands of spectators on the damp sands and along the promenade craning their necks for a glimpse of the star. Sheen provoked gasps when he emerged from the crowd sporting a scruffy beard and shaggy hair and wearing a blue hooded top with a red blanket wrapped round him.
Helping hand: Sheen kneels down bare-footed as he helps a young boy in a wet-suit build a sandcastle on the first day of the 72-hour play. After a powerful speech which moved one woman to tears, he melted back into the audience and walked off down the beach in the direction of Port Talbot's imposing steelworks. Sheen, who is also co-director and creative director of the play, has described the project as like a soap opera.
'There's episodes of the story over the three days, and in between those official episodes there's other stuff going on but you just have to go and look for it,' he told This Morning. Fans: Sheen gave an emotional speech which moved one woman to tears before he chatted to children as he headed towards the mountains to sleep rough for the night
A long and winding road: Hundreds of people joined the star's play after hearing about it through word of mouth. The production will continue until Sunday morning
'It's a story that is absolutely about the town now, but it is underpinned by the story of the last week of Jesus.' Port Talbot has a history of producing world-class actors, with Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins among the town's other famous sons, but has suffered decline in recent years.
Sheen said: 'So often our town is looked down on or dismissed, sometimes by ourselves even. 'I hope that The Passion will be an opportunity for the world to see what is revealing itself daily to all of us fortunate enough to be a part of this adventure, that Port Talbot is an example of what is best about us.'
He will spend Saturday evening eating a meal of beer and sandwiches in a dramatisation of the Last Supper at the Seaside Social and Labour Club - where Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers will also perform.
Sheen was inspired to put on the ambitious drama - which was two years in the planning and is the finale to National Theatre Wales's launch year - by watching performances of Passion plays in Port