KENDAL is to become the setting for the town's first-ever Passion play.

The play - which will work its way through the streets akin to those in medieval times - will take place at Easter next year and work is already well underway for the community event.

Actors, musicians, school pupils and churches from across South Lakeland are to take part in the play, which will re-enact the last few days of Jesus' life along Stricklandgate and use local landmarks such as the birdcage and Kendal Castle.

The play is the brain-child of Chris Taylor, assistant priest with the beacon team, which takes in St George's in Kendal as well as other churches in the area, who worked at the Brewery before he was ordained in 2000.

He said: "I am very interested in street theatre but the idea for this play grew out of dicussion with some friends and has dveleoped over the past five years."

"My major reason for wanting to stage this is an opportunity for all sorts of people to come and work collectively irrelevant of whether they have had training or not.

"I have always been passionate about theatre being accessiable for everyone."

The script is being written by Caroline Moir and local designer Kate Reid is planning the visulas of the play.

Chris hopes that individuals and groups - irrespective of religion - will take the opportunity to join in and added: "We hope many people want to come and join in.

"There will be about 13 speaking parts but we need people for the crowds and to be soldiers so the more the merrier."

He is planning workshops with professional actors to take place in October andhopes to cast the play shortly afterwards.

Fund-raisers are now hard at work to secure cash needed for the play and Chris added: "We are looking to apply for grants and for business sponsorship.

"This is certainly going to cost a lot of money and there is a lot of fund-raising to do, although, I would not want to put a figure on it at the moment."

Kendal mayor Jonathan Brook, said: "The Passion play builds on Kendal's history of street art and festivals and I urge people from all sections of Kendal society to get involved in this wonderful event.

"It will mean plenty of hard work, but I know that the entire community will benefit, not only next year, but for a long time afterwards."