Heaven knows it's Manchester now
April 14, 2006 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Remember the announcement for the BBC's Manchester Passion? The full list of songs and lineup were recently announced, rehearsals are over, tonight the procession through the city will be broadcast live on BBC Three - for now you can watch trailers and interviews with the cast (only for UK viewers/proxy users).
posted by funambulist (13 comments total)
Can't wait for this. Hopefully the execution will live up to the concept.
posted by jack_mo at 9:23 AM on April 14, 2006

Wow, our mate Denise is singing in it. She's got a great voice.
posted by davehat at 11:08 AM on April 14, 2006

Is there any way someone outside the UK can hear this?
posted by crunchland at 11:18 AM on April 14, 2006

Unfortunately no, but I'm betting it'll find its way on the internet in the form of a torrent very soon!
posted by funambulist at 12:33 PM on April 14, 2006

(not being a commercial release, I hope it's not a problem if torrents are mentioned)
posted by funambulist at 12:35 PM on April 14, 2006

Not to spoil it for anyone else if it has made it onto the internet and folk are waiting to watch it... but I didn't think very much of the show by the time it started to wrap up. They didn't really use the (stunning, hypermodern) Manchester landscape to much effect, and they chose not to use any imagery relating to the crucifixion. It's only saving grace? The use of music was ingenious. It's very easy to forget how mournful and lonely Mancunian music is thanks to their tough reputation.
posted by saturnine at 4:47 PM on April 14, 2006

Wasn't Bez supposed to be in it? He's one of my personal heroes.
posted by First Post at 5:07 PM on April 14, 2006

There's a clip from the rehearsals here, that's Mancunian Jesus singing. He was rather good.

Saturnine, I'll just say I got the feeling it would have made a big difference to be there, it seemed to me the focus was more on the feeling and participation of the people (and the love for the music!) than on the performance itself.
posted by funambulist at 5:32 PM on April 14, 2006

oops, I swear there was a link to the video clip before, they must have edited it - here's the direct link to the clip
posted by funambulist at 5:39 PM on April 14, 2006

It was fucking awful. I bet Ian Curtis and Jesus were throwing beer cans at the Heavenly Plasma Screen Telly.

As a confirmed atheist I found the ham-fisted skip through of the Passion narrative borderline offensive - Lord knows what a God-botherer would've made of it. The sequencing of the songs made little sense, even on the rare occasions when the lyrics were apt, and they ended with Angels by Robbie Williams, for crying out loud. The obviously scripted vox pops with folk in the procession - Ooh! A Muslim came along! How sweet! And look here! This crusty bloke in combat trousers is a Christian! - made me cringe so much I nearly broke my neck. Also, Keith Allen was in it. And he sang.

What a waste of a great opportunity.

Wow, our mate Denise is singing in it. She's got a great voice.

She was the only one with a great voice, and the only saving grace. She even made M People sound okay at one point!
posted by jack_mo at 6:28 PM on April 14, 2006

that's Mancunian Jesus singing.

obPedant: Hartlepudlian Jesus, actually. Which, given that the town's fame extends from a different execution, is sort of apt.
posted by holgate at 7:18 PM on April 14, 2006

ok, Harlepudlian! I thought he was good, as an actor, you could tell he's not a singer, but even in that respect he did a lot better than Tim Booth on Heaven Knows. That one was terrible!

I don't know, I just don't think it worked on tv, perhaps it was different for the crowds there? They seemed to love it.

It was said to be 'spectacular' and I was expecting something very different. Thought the music would play a much bigger part. It felt awkward, maybe the whole idea of a contemporary adaptation was just never meant to work.

There's a comment on it in the Guardian.
posted by funambulist at 4:53 AM on April 15, 2006

I just don't think it worked on tv, perhaps it was different for the crowds there? They seemed to love it.

I liked the concept, because it seemed to tap into a much older tradition: the mediaeval play cycles, that featured Northern Jesus doing his thing on a stage fashioned from an ox-cart. Not sure whether they quite delivered, but as the Grauniad piece says, anything that ends with 'I Am The Resurrection' is likely to make a convert out of someone.
posted by holgate at 10:06 AM on April 15, 2006

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