Johnny de Mol would take on the role of narrator in the tenth edition of The Passion in Roermond this week. Due to the corona crisis, the anniversary edition becomes a collection of performances from previous years, still talked together live by De Mol. In conversation with NU.nl he explains why he finds the message of Jesus important in these times.
The presenter sees many elements of the Biblical story that now appeal extra. "It is about sacrifice, fear, selfishness and friendship, but especially about hope and all-connecting love. With what is going on now, the message of Jesus is very important and extra special. It is almost bizarre how many interfaces there are."
Although De Mol did not grow up with Bible stories, he did get it at school in Belgium. He mainly wants to tell his own children that they must be there for vulnerable people in society. "It is not about money or material value, but mainly about attention and time. That is the most important message that Jesus proclaimed for me."
In his role as narrator, De Mol wanted to give his own twist to the Easter story. "I talked to the writers about how we could relate the theme to vulnerable people in our society, such as the elderly and refugees. These are the people Jesus also looked after. I want to do my own sauce without compromising the story casting."
"Songs like 'Now give me your fear' and 'Tell me it's not' seem to have been written for this period."
'Few productions in the Netherlands can match The Passion '
" The Passion was something I had secretly wanted to do for some time, but I never thought I would be approached for it. Few productions in the Netherlands can match what is being started every year for The Passion . I found it great that I was asked. "
When it turned out that the regular planned edition of The Passion in Roermond cannot go ahead due to the corona outbreak, De Mol first had other concerns on his mind. "My wife had bronchitis and the children were sick and feverish. We only spent a few weeks indoors. My mother is already old and I was no longer able to come to her."
By the time things got better at De Mol's home, it turned out that LIVE 10 years of The Passion: 'Now give me your fear' also needed a storyteller and De Mol agreed. The presenter thinks that it is right now to use the stage to tell this story.
"There is currently a lot of fear and misunderstanding and everyone is being tested. Of course we want to give hope and remove fears with this current and alternative version of The Passion , but it is not a problem to be vulnerable and show your fears. There is strength in vulnerability if you share it with each other. That can be done beautifully through music. Songs like Give me your fear now and Tell me that it is not like that seem written for this period. "
De Mol keeps the door open to redo the role of narrator for the public if necessary next year. "That would be very cool, of course. Let's hope it will be possible again in the future. Then I will certainly be recommended."
LIVE 10 years The Passion: 'Give me your fear now' can be seen at the EO and KRO-NCRV on NPO1 on Thursday 9 April at 8.30 pm.