AS Jesus was nailed to the cross a silence fell across a Winchester market town causing residents to weep silently.

Thank God It’s Friday – a modern rendition of the Easter dramatic presentation The Passion Play – was performed in Alresford on Friday (April 18) in front of some 300 people to tell the story of the last days of Jesus Christ, his crucifixion and those who betrayed him.

Jesus, who was played by Richard Paget, was dressed rather unusually in jeans and a t-shirt for his moment with Pontius Pilate while a news correspondent and a cameraman fed the story of Jesus’s last moments to a heckling crowd.

But it wasn’t just the tremors of the loud speakers in Broad Street that affected the crowds. Some people could be seen trying to hold back their tears as the nails were hammered to the hands of the man who wore a crown of thorns.

Director Rosie Waring-Green, said the team – made up of singers, actors and dancers – had been rehearsing for about five weeks. It is the third time the play has been performed in the town which was last shown 10 years ago.

“I think it’s gone brilliantly,” she said.

“It’s probably the best one we did. It was very moving and very emotional. At the end no one wanted to move they were so captivated by the story.”

Laura Brill, who helped to organise the piece, said: “Rosie was asked to do this by the three churches in Alresford, made up of Anglican, Methodist and Catholic, to spread the Christian message and the true meaning of Easter.

“We wanted people to stop in the street and to do something that brought together the whole community.”