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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 15:40 GMT
Manchester makeover for Passion
Noel Gallagher of Oasis
Oasis' Wonderwall will be featured in BBC Three's Manchester Passion
BBC Three will stage a live procession through the streets of Manchester on Good Friday in a bid to bring the story of the Passion to a new generation.

Featuring songs by local bands, the Manchester Passion is a contemporary retelling of Jesus's final hours.

Songs include Jesus and Pontius Pilate duetting on Oasis hit Wonderwall, and Judas performing Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now by the Smiths.

No artists have been confirmed for the one-hour show, a BBC spokeswoman said.

The live event will be focused on Manchester's Albert Square, where the trial of Jesus and the crucifixion scene will take place.

Flashmob: the Opera
The show has been created by the team behind Flashmob: the Opera

A procession of local people bearing a cross will come through the streets of Manchester to meet those playing the parts of Jesus and his disciples in the square in the centre of the city.

'Supportive churches'

The evening production has been developed by the TV classical music department behind BBC Three's Flashmob: The Opera, and will have the same spontaneous feel with members of the public encouraged to turn up and get involved.

"The churches in Manchester have been really fantastic and very supportive," said a BBC spokeswoman.

"They have been looking for ways in which they can get involved because I think they recognise that it can bring a new audience to this age-old story."

It's about making the story more accessible to a new generation
BBC spokeswoman

All the tracks in the production will be music from Manchester bands from past 30 years.

Confirmed songs include Jesus singing Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart at the Last Supper, Jesus and Judas duetting on New Order's Blue Monday and the Virgin Mary singing M People's Search For The Hero.

A BBC spokeswoman said the programme-makers hoped "people that never go to church may go along".

"Whether it is because they are interested in seeing more, want to be on TV or just love the music, it is still introducing them to this story - and that is what it's about, making the story more accessible to a new generation."


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