Scottish actors are wanted for a new large-scale community Passion Play which will bring the story of Jesus to the centre of Edinburgh next Easter.

Organisers say The Easter Play, which will be performed in Princes Street Gardens West in April next year, will have a number of the biblical characters speaking in Scots to "help the story connect with contemporary Scotland."

The chairman of the Easter Play Trust, behind the performance, said that this year's production is a traditional version of the Passion as "a lot of people don't know the story".

Suzanne Lofthus, its director, said: “This is a full, promenade production in period costume set in the first century AD, but we are looking to bring a more colloquial feel to the language by making some of the characters speak in Scots.

“We’re not saying that the characters in the Bible were Scots, but that they were ordinary men and women just like us.

"We have commissioned the writer, Kamala Maniam, to bring some more modern touches to the language and make it more accessible and relevant."

It is the first time in five years that a traditional Passion Play has been performed in Princes Street Gardens.

In 2014, audiences watched The Edinburgh Passion, a contemporary version of the story by playwright Rob Drummond.

Ms Lofthus added: “No acting experience is needed and the cast will be made up of a wide variety of people. It’s a great production to be part of, and there are both speaking and non-speaking parts.

"It’s great fun, and a great way to hone your acting skills. There are no auditions, just bring enthusiasm and the desire to be part of one of the greatest stories ever told."

Rev Mike Frew, chairman of the Easter Play Trust, said: “We have gone back to a traditional production this year because we felt that a lot of people don’t know the original story.

"But we really want the characters to speak in contemporary voices, the kind of language people would hear and use in conversation, to make a bridge from the original story to the 21st century."

Anyone interested in being part of The Easter Play is invited to attend weekly rehearsals which begin on Wednesday 16th November at Gorgie Dalry Stenhouse Church, 190-192 Gorgie Road, at 7pm.

Ms Lofthus has been artistic director of Cutting Edge Theatre since 1995.

She has been directing open-air Passion Plays in Scotland since 2000, and has also created Passion Plays with long-term prisoners in Louisiana State Penitentiary, and Opera Prison in Milan.