THE MYSTERY OF OUR LORD’S PASSION
By Michel de Ghelderode
“Le Mystère de la Passion” is Theater Toone traditional Easter play since 1934. Belgian writer Michel de Ghelderode chose the heads of our puppets himself to interpret the different parts. His wish is still being respected today.
Young Toone VII produced the play when his theatre opened on 1 April 1966.
The play of the passion is linked to the tale of the Rue Notre-Seigneur, which links the rue de Briggitines to the Rue Haute. There, Thomas Guys, who was condemned to death in 1440, agreed to play the part of Christ in the passion play in the hope of being pardoned.
Subjected to every torture endured by Christ, the prisoner would be free to go if he could resist crucifixion. The story goes that Thomas Guys would have survived. Glorified with this legend, he was known as Our Lord. Then it is said that the street in which he lived would have taken on its name from there. Throughout time, this barbarian custom withered away, but the passion play survived through Brussels puppeteers.
Michel de Ghelderode used to hang around the Marolles, where old puppeteers told him about this Passion. He then wrote their tale resulting in a transcript oscillating between humour and emotion.
“one is always amazed when you hear Toone interpreting successively the roles of Judas and his nagging wife, the apostles, Ponce Pilate, and Mary, going from one vein to another without sore note, with the same ease. It is a popular Passion, meaning that it is seen and understood from the people’s point of view. The funny moments are numerous, yet the fervour remains intact, warm, and sincere. This Passion is one of the most beautiful aspects of our Brussels folk heritage”.
(CB La Cité, 10 March 1970)
Unless otherwise specified, all of our shows are performed in French.
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