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The Passion is a Dutch passion play, held every Maundy Thursday since 2011 in a different city each year. The event is broadcast live on Dutch television. In 2015 and 2018, it was broadcast on radio as well.

The Passion
The Passion Rotterdam DSC 0172.jpg
The logo, as seen during the staging in Rotterdam
Created byAndy King-Dabbs and Jacco Doornbos
Directed byDavid Grifhorst
Composer(s)Cor Bakker (2011-2012)
Eric van Tijn (2013-present)
Country of originNetherlands
Producer(s)Cynthia van Ingen
Running time90 minutes
Original networkEO
Original release21 April 2011
External links

The event began as a collaboration between the broadcasters EO and RKK. At present, it is mainly a joint effort between the broadcasters EO and KRO-NCRV.

The participating organizations consider The Passion missionary work and they see it as a chance to promote Easter and Christianity in general.



The Dutch event and television program is partly inspired by the English local play Manchester Passion, held on Good Friday and broadcast by the BBC Three. The production company Eye2Eye Media brought the event to the Netherlands. The first Dutch version was held at the market square in Gouda, with a live broadcast on national television on Maundy Thursday 2011. It proved successful and new editions followed thereafter.

Currently, The Passion is a project between the broadcasters EO and KRO-NCRV, the Protestant and Roman Catholic churches in the Netherlands, and the Netherlands Bible Society.



On Maundy Thursday, three days prior to Easter, the event takes place on a main square in a Dutch city. On this square, Dutch celebrities paraphrase selected Bible passages to tell the story of Easter and Jesus, with live performances of relevant Dutch pop songs in between. Throughout the years, songs from Dutch musicians such as Marco Borsato, BLØF, Guus Meeuwis and Nick & Simon have been used. Meanwhile, a group of 40 people bear a huge white cross towards the main podium in the center square. The cross has a weight of almost 900 pounds and it is nearly 20 feet tall. It is possible to follow this event online; with a second screen, people can join the procession virtually on The Passion website.


The geographical spread of all Dutch editions throughout the country

The host city is selected annually on the basis of various factors:

  • The recognition amongst the Dutch population. A local theme that ties in with the story of suffering and resurrection is helpful. For example, the 2015 edition, staged in Enschede, referred to a fireworks disaster and the subsequent rebuilding of a new urban district called Roombeek.
  • The presence of a large space that can carry up to 20,000 — 25,000 people. The performance stage is built in this area. Additionally, an overflow zone is required to safely disperse excess visitors, if need be.
  • The possibility to adequately record the different scenes.
  • The willingness of the city to provide both financial and practical contributions.[1]

The first three editions were all held in the province of South Holland. The fourth edition, held in Groningen, was the first outside of the Randstad. Since that year, the locations are geographically spread throughout the country. The 2016 edition was staged in Amersfoort; the 2017 edition in Leeuwarden and the 2018 edition in Amsterdam Zuidoost. The 2019 edition will be staged in Dordrecht.


2011, GoudaEdit

The event was staged on 21 April in the old city center of Gouda. The event attracted about 20,000 visitors and it was followed by around one million viewers on television. In June 2012, the Gouda edition of The Passion won an award for best city marketing event.

2012, RotterdamEdit

Cross bearers en route — The Passion 2012

The Rotterdam event was staged on 5 April on the Willemsplein. It was broadcast on national television and seen by 1.7 million viewers.

2013, The HagueEdit

The event was staged on 28 March in the city center of The Hague. De procession departured from graveyard Sint Petrusbanden. The main stage of this edition was formed by the Hofvijver. Around 2.3 million viewers saw The Passion live on television.

2014, GroningenEdit

The Passion in the Dutch city of Groningen, 2014

On 17 April, The Passion was staged on the Vismarkt in Groningen. Roughly 20,000 visitors came to see the play and it had around 3.2 million television viewers.

2015, EnschedeEdit

The Passion was held on 2 April on the Hendrik Jan van Heekplein in Enschede. This year, the event was broadcast on radio as well.[2] A total of 3,574,000 viewers watched the live television broadcasting.

2016, AmersfoortEdit

On 2 September 2015, it was revealed that The Passion will be staged on 24 March 2016, on the Eemplein in Amersfoort.[3]


Dutch singer Danny de Munk played Jesus in 2012
Role 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Jesus Syb van der Ploeg Danny de Munk René van Kooten Jan Dulles Jim de Groot Martijn Fischer Dwight Dissels Tommie Christiaan
Mary Do Berget Lewis Anita Meyer Simone Kleinsma Shirma Rouse Ellen ten Damme Elske DeWall Glennis Grace
Peter Thomas Berge Frans Bauer Jim Bakkum Stanley Burleson Jeroen van der Boom Mark van Eeuwen Omri Tindal Brainpower
Judas Iscariot Frank Lammers Charly Luske Daniël Boissevain Jamai Loman Jeroen van Koningsbrugge Xander de Buisonjé Roel van Velzen Jeangu Macrooy
Pontius Pilate Wilbert Gieske Henk Poort Tom Jansen Jack van Gelder Jon van Eerd Howard Komproe Johnny Kraaijkamp jr. Arjan Ederveen
Narrator Erik Dijkstra Philip Freriks Jörgen Raymann Beau van Erven Dorens Robert ten Brink Lenette van Dongen Remco Veldhuis Noraly Beyer
Procession Reporter Hanna Verboom Antoinette Hertsenberg Renate Verbaan Lieke van Lexmond Bridget Maasland Sofie van den Enk Kefah Allush Bert van Leeuwen


  1. ^ "RI15.0073 Uitvoering motie over The Passion, page 3" (PDF). Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  2. ^ "The Passion ook te volgen op de radio". 23 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  3. ^ The Passion gaat naar Amersfoort,, 2 September 2015

External linksEdit