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The "Ecce homo" frontispiece was the work of John (Pa) McAdam, maternal grandfather of the playwright, who attended St. Mungo’s Academy in Glasgow. It is dated 1876. Brian was five years old when his grandfather died in 1925. Brian himself died in 1980. Many thanks are due to a great granddaughter of Pa McAdam, Frances Leach, and her daughter Crístin, through whose courtesy the frontispiece appears.

About the play

First produced at Rockwell College on St. Patrick’s Day 1956. The sets were designed by Brother Ambrose, lighting was by Father Comerford, and makeup by Father Redmond Walsh. Father Ward, as he then was, directed production. A list of the players is given below

The cast in the Rockwell production included:

Pilate                   Maurice O’Brien
Claudia                Michael Falkner
Artemius              Paddy Byrne
Longinus              Desmond Bodley
Centurions           Patrick Fenoughty, Eamon Flood, Barry Mahon
Judas                   Michael Crowley
Caiphas               Paul Bissett
Annas                  Maurice Foley
Nicodemus          Hugh Behan
Chresidorus         James Toohey
Temple Priests     Noel Kingston, Finbarr O’Leary, Cathal Cavanagh
Bemba                ?
Stage hands
         Peter Linehan, Michael Kirby, Mob Eamon, Tuffy Fergus Lawlor, John O’Callaghan, John O’Keefe

Epilogue to Pilate

The original production contained an epilogue which, in a later draft, was subsumed into Pilate’s closing speech. For the benefit of later readers it is reproduced herewith.

    What’s done is done, stamped with its author’s name,
   How Pilate won his too, too tragic fame.
   Why must our deeds so hardened grow
   And crystallise in their results?
   Can man not cut the cord ‘twixt action and effect?
   Or must the seed of doing
   Relentless yield its fruit commensurate?
   O doubtful freedom! Privilege divine
   In human hands, that groping twist the helm
   Through fogs of prejudice and fear!
   For man must choose,
   And bear the burden of his choice;
   The thing that’s done, must ever be
   For good or ill.
         Here was a man,
   In eminence of state, not wholly good or bad
   Whose conscience failed before the mad stampede
   Of cowardice, ambition and self love.
         Yet let’s be fair --
   For any one of us might well have been
   The central figure in the play you’ve seen.


An introduction to the historical figure, Pilate, may be found in many sites on the Internet. Only five persons are mentioned by name in the Nicene Creed, the Blessed Trinity, the Virgin Mary, and Pontius Pilate. His dramatic words when displaying Christ with a crown of thorns, "Behold the man", have echoed and re-echoed down the centuries. In the Coptic Church he is ranked in the calendar of saints.

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