‘The presentation [of the Passion],’ it said, ‘will start with Judas betraying Jesus to the High Priest on the steps of St Mark’s Church followed by his trial before Pontius Pilot (sic) outside the Guildhall at 10.40.’Then ‘Jesus will be whipped in the Grand Square Shopping Centre at 10.55 am, stripped outside the Virgin Mega Store in Park Street at 11.25 and crucified outside Marks and Spencer.’
Was this satire? Was it a genuine notice? The problem with satire these days is that reality almost always surpasses it, or at any rate is subsequently taken as the blueprint for policy. Jesus stripped outside the Virgin Mega Store? Crucified outside Marks and Spencer? Perhaps next year we can have Aztec human sacrifice outside W H Smith, or an auto-da-fé at the entrance to Primark. That would certainly bring the shoppers in.