This is the bizarre moment a brawl erupted during a Passion of the Christ performance when a spectator jumped on stage to attack an actor in a bizarre bid to ‘save Jesus’ from crucifixion.
He used a motorcycle helmet to hit an actor playing a Roman soldier around the head and kicked him seconds after the performer pretended to thrust the spear into the Messiah’s side.
Video shows the moment the unnamed man leaped on stage in Nova Hartz, Brazil, on Friday to attack and chase the stunned actor.
More than 1,000 people were in the town square watching the show and at first no one could believe what was happening, according to city planning director William da Silva.
‘(The man) leapt up from the middle of the audience and no one guessed what he was about to do,’ he said.
‘Witnesses reported the attacker was shouting “he was not going to let Jesus die” before he barged on stage.’
The outraged man allegedly suffers from mental health problems and drug abuse and is known to police.
The actor – playing a Roman soldier – pretends to pierce Jesus Christ’s side with a spear in the retelling of the Passion
Many watching the Easter spectacle looked on in disbelief while questioning whether this was part of the drama.
Actors on stage ploughed into the aggressor as they tried to restrain him, but he continued to lash out as fists flew.
The shocked director, Adriano Ferreira, who manages a company of 80 actors, said: ‘There are some things that are just inexplicable.
‘We halted the play for a few moments, but as no one had been injured, we decided to continue with the staging.
The ‘soldier’ was attacked as an audience member jumped on stage stating he was determined not to let Jesus die
He said Samir Rodrigues, the actor who was beaten with the helmet was scared but unharmed.
‘This week, a city businessman gave the Roman soldiers new helmets and that probably ended up protecting Samir,’ he said.
During the mayhem, the actor playing Jesus remains calm and in character, even when the cross nearly tips over as his colleagues join in the rush to contain the situation.
Many in the audience filmed the dramatic intervention, posting their incredulity and disappointment in comments on social media.
The man storms on stage armed with a motorcycle helmet, which he used to beat the actor mid-performance
On woman said: ‘People spend months rehearsing something meaningful then along comes someone to ruin everything.
‘The show was in the middle of an amazing and beautiful staging of the Passion of Christ, when a man from the audience suddenly jumped on stage and whacked the actor who was playing a soldier on the back of the head with a motorcycle helmet.
‘I was devastated to see the event disrupted in such an awful way.’
The audience member also kicked and chased the actor, with fellow cast members forced to intervene during the attack
Another spectator, who was there with her family, said: ‘We had to do a double-take because we weren’t sure whether this was meant to happen or not.
‘When I realised it was truly an unprovoked attack, I started to tremble and cried with disappointment at how the theatrical performance had been messed up by this violence.’
Performers waded in to help the actor as he was attacked during a retelling of the crucifixion of Jesus
One of the actors who helped to restrain the man, but didn’t want to be identified, revealed: ‘He said he didn’t know what he was doing and that he couldn’t remember what he was doing there. He kept shouting at people to get away from him.’
The assailant’s brother who came to the aid of his sibling, claimed he was taking controlled medication and had been suffering from a psychotic episode.
Police have launched an investigation into the incident after a formal complaint of assault was lodged by the victim.