There are some events around the world that you simply have to experience in your lifetime and the once-a-decade Oberammergau Passion Play is one of them.
It was born in 1633 after citizens of the charming Bavarian village of Oberammergau made a solemn vow to perform a play once every 10 years that depicted the story of Christ’s life, suffering, death and resurrection if their lives were spared from the deadly plague, and, after no further deaths, the first iteration took place just one year later.
The play was due to be held in 2020, but was rescheduled to 2022 as a result of the pandemic – only this isn't the first time it has been cancelled in its history. It was stopped in 1770 when the Duke of Bavaria banned all passion plays, it was then cancelled in 1920 due to the amount of local lives lost in World War I and it was axed again in 1940 because of World War II. The first staging of the 100-day-plus run of the Oberammergau Passion Play in 2020 had been due to go ahead in May of that year, but after careful consideration the organisers eventually decided to postpone it until this year.
Now that we're just a few months away from its long-awaited launch, we caught up with one of the main cast members to find out how plans for the performance were impacted by the delays and what it's like to live in such a unique place. Eva-Maria Reiser will play the coveted role of Mary in the 2022 play, the 42nd iteration, and she also played the role of Mary Magdalene for the last Passion Play in 2010. Read what she had to say below.