One by one, a string of witnesses is brought in to the police interview room. The inspector grills each one: How did he die? Did he kill himself? And what happened to the money?

The man in question is Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus Christ’s 12 Apostles and the subject of a new play being staged by Finchley’s The Guild Players in five churches in the borough to mark Holy Week – Judas’s Tale.

“Judas never appears in the story,“ explains writer Mike Sparks, who has been a member of the amateur dramatic group for about 45 years. “The play takes the form of the police inspector interviewing various characters, some of them invented, about how he died and what he did with the money given to him by the priests to betray Jesus.

“But, as the inspector himself says, ‘The only man who knows the truth – well, we crucified him yesterday’.“

Judas’s Tale is one of a series of plays that Mike, 71, has written for The Guild Players that take a look at different characters in the Easter story, rather than taking the more traditional approach of telling the tale from Jesus’ point of view. Others in the series include Peter’s Tale, about Saint Peter, The Gardener’s Tale, about the gardener who cleared up the streets after Palm Sunday, The Soldier’s Tale and The Inn Keeper’s Tale.

“They’re all told from the ordinary person’s point of view,“ says Mike. “We started doing these about ten years ago at Finchley Methodist Church, which The Guild Players is part of, and then somebody said ‘Can you come and do it at my church as well?’ and then somebody else asked too, and they just grew.

“The plays tell the tale in a different way and hopefully will engage people. They’re all about looking at the Holy Week story and giving the audience the impression that other people would have been a part of it – how would they have been affected by it, how much did they know about what was going on?“

But the emphasis is always about putting on a “good bit of drama“, says Mike, who lives in New Barnet and was married in Finchley Methodist Church 49 years ago. “We try to make it a really theatrical experience every church we go to. We’ve got a full lighting rig that we take around with us, and we rely on the quality of the acting and the words. It’s a great bit of fun.“

  • Judas’s Tale is at Queensbury Methodist Church, Beverly Drive, Queensbury, Edgware on Monday, March 25 at 8pm, at St Paul’s Church, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill on Tuesday, March 26 at 8pm, at St John’s United Reformed Church, Mowbray Road, New Barnet on Wednesday, March 27 at 8pm, at Camden Road Baptist Church, Hilldrop Road, Holloway on Maundy Thursday, March 28 at 8pm, and at Finchley Methodist Church, Ballards Lane, Finchley on Good Friday, March 29 at 8pm. Details: