June 28, 2006

A Theatrickal Masque

I'm wondering if instead of a Lambeth Conference it might not be worth staging a pageant or theatrical production. One play to which I've alluded below comes to mind: King Lear. I think +Rowan would be admirably typecast -- he certainly has the "look" -- though he might prefer to spell the title character's name by the older mythological "Llyr"! He was the king, you will remember, who decided to divide his kingdom among his children, giving the best bits to the ones who flattered him the most.

Cordelia will, of course, be the first role for our new Presiding Bishop: the daughter who truly loves but will not dissemble just to please, and must suffer the consequences of disenfranchisement. In this she stands in for the whole Episcopal Church, it seems, or 90 percent of it, anyway.

The Fool who tells the truth but to whom no one listens as the tragedy unfolds? Bishop Robinson, I think you've got a part to play: Shakespeare's fools are the wisest but also the saddest, and Lear's fool most of all. Of course, you may not be invited to the show. If so, I nominate Desmond Tutu for a special farewell performance of a part he's played not just in the church, but in the world.

The other daughters will have to be played in drag, in the tradition of Shakespeare's time. A number of US bishops seem to be vying for the roles of the sisters who butter up and then betray their father, so auditions will be held. (The star has casting approval.) So too for their husbands. Perhaps an Australian accent might be good there; with a touch of Southern Cone.

Then there's Edmund and Edgar (Akinola and Ndungane?) and a host of other characters.

It could be a very interesting production. Perhaps even instructive.

Feeling somewhat of a Fool myself (and I actually did play the role once years back in a very odd musical version of the play) I remain,

Perplexed at the haste with which people seem to be moving in widening gyres,


Anonymous said...

Love your casting. I've already pictured this in my imagination.

Anonymous said...

May I nominate Martyn Minns for Polonius?

And let's not forget Cannon Anderson--there's got to be a good role for him.

Ellie Finlay said...

A musical Lear? Mercy!

Loved your post. Thank you!

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks Doug... finger slippage, and it's been corrected.

Ellie, I have further news... it was a rock musical!

Lisa Fox said...

I'd make a comment, but I'm laughing too hard. This is rich!!!

Anonymous said...

>>>May I nominate Martyn Minns for Polonius?

I am so ashamed--wrong play!

But Minns would make such an **excellent** Polonius that there must surely be some way to work him in, maybe combine the two plays or something.

Fr. John said...

Dear Tobias+,

It would indeed be funny if it were not so sad. Perhaps it could premiere at a gala event to celebrate the consecration of bishop-elect Minns?

Thank you for your wit and wisdom.

John Kirkley+

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Actually, I think Martyn ("with a Y, like Liza with a Z") Minns playing Polonius in a production of King Lear is a rather apt analogy for the present situtation.

I have come to regard the current state of affairs in the Communion as not at all unlike the typical "actor's nightmare" in which one finds oneself on stage in performance of a play one has never rehearsed, or in which everyone else is making up the lines as they go along.


Anonymous said...

I think we're talking improv comedy. With Reggaeton.