June 21, 2010

New Cast for English Production of King Lear

In a stunning move, the team of Williams and Sentamu have announced they hope to take on the role of Lear on alternating nights in the continuing long-running production called the Church of England. This comes in the form of a proposed amendment to legislation that has slowly been working its way through the gut of General Synod for it seems like years... Oh, it is years....

Under this scheme, the church will be divided into fictional dioceses, in which "jurisdiction" will have magical qualities of invisibility and opacity at will, and things will be as they seem or not so much depending on the fancy of the schemers. Or, indeed, in spite of them. The special effects and pyro team for the big "storm on the heath" are working overtime.

Critics have long admired Williams' portrayal in the lead role, noted for the tension inherent in attempting to unite by division, and affirm by denial, and advance by restraint. What new logical contradictions await us remain to be seen. However, long time fans can rest assured of one thing. Bishop N.T. Wright has recently announced his retirement from Durham in order to devote his full time to his acclaimed performance as Mad Tom.

Of course, the Synod may instead reach the decision that the run of this particular drama has gone on long enough.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

14 comments:

IT said...

(ABC, to ABY)
Come, let's away to Lambeth:
We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out;
And take upon's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.

Penny Nash said...

Ah, so this is a drama. And all this time I thought we were watching Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass.

Penny Nash

Kevin Montgomery said...

I thought it was a farce.

Ellie Finlay said...

Oh, IT! You are determined once again to make me cry today. I had, needless to say, never thought to look at "the current unpleasantness" in terms of Lear (that's rather jolting, Tobias) and reminding me of this heartbreaking speech to Cordelia has torn at my insides. And remember what she says right before this:

We are not the first
Who, with best meaning, have incurr’d the worst...


I know. You're being ironic. But, in doing so, you've also claimed this:

Lambeth = prison.

Dear God, it's sad. I've not been letting myself feel it for all these years but this has broken me open to that place of terrible, terrible, terrible sadness.

I suppose I can only thank you.

IT said...

Ellie, I don't know if I should say "I'm sorry" or "you're welcome".

But I think Lambeth has become a prison: imprisoning thoughts, freedom, inclusion etc etc... and the ABC locked in its embrace. The metaphor just seems to work.

Grandmère Mimi said...

What a mix of emotions I've felt here. From laughing out loud to sadness. Tobias, first your farce, or is it tragic-comedy?

Many times, I've thought of Rowan as a prisoner in Lambeth. What missives, of all the many he receives, is he permitted to ever lay eyes on? Who sent out the directives to Katharine that she had to show her papers and that she would not be wearing her mitre?

And Rowan split (or yoked together still?) from the man he once was is surely a player in a tragedy.

Oh, Ellie!

Tobias Stanislas Haller said...

Thanks, all.

It is tragic, but I can but laugh, rather than give in to despair. In my family we call it the "Haller" sense of irony -- though I think it really comes more from my mother than my father. My dad had a morose and melancholy streak, while my mother, though an inveterate worrier, was also a glass half full sort of person. Perhaps its the difference between the paternal Germanic side of the family vs the maternal Anglo/Irish side (full of Celts and folks from Yorkshire and Kent). In any case, my mom was always one to laugh in the face of tragedy -- a somewhat nervous laugh to tell the truth -- but even her last words were delivered with a bit of that pizazz: as the harpist at the hospice (does that sound like a Danny Kaye sketch?) was about to launch into a second musical composition, my mom looked at her and simply said, in a stern but gentle voice, "That's enough!"

As to Rowan, Monday a.m. there occurred to me a thought that I think sums him and his attitude to TEC up: "I have sacrificed my conscience and my friends for the sake of unity, and I don't see why you shouldn't do the same." He hasn't said that, but actions speak louder than words. That the "unity" he seeks is unatainable, or already lost, he doesn't seem able to see. Some things have to die before they can be raised, and the Anglican Communion is one of them. The Kovenant (Babel in new dress) is not the answer.

Davis said...

I for one am exhausted.

KJ said...

I should be saddened by it all, but am fortunate to be in a parish and diocese that just go about doing what we need to be about while the nonsense plays out. It reminds me very much of coming out at the age of 40 in Evangelical Land. I was in church leadership, so it was quite the scandal. Yet, I was in a place of peace and calm, perhaps like the eye of a hurricane. Most blessed of all was the consequence that my phone stopped ringing, and as the ringing had often been the announcer of some church nonsense I had to deal with, that was a very, very good thing.

Let's go about doing what we need to be about, greeting warmly those that come along side, and bidding a peace-filled adieu to those who don't.

And Tobias, your post is too clever by half!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Amen, and amen!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

And yes!

Lambeth = Bedlam.

Jim said...

"Bishop N.T. Wright has recently announced his retirement from Durham in order to devote his full time to his acclaimed performance as Mad Tom."

Way too true. I recall a post long ago about NTW doing some lectures and "steadfastly refusing to recognize the implications of his own work." YUP! His efforts to explain why his own studies of St. Paul do not invalidate his positions are amazing.

FWIW
jimB

IT said...

Tobias,

As to Rowan, Monday a.m. there occurred to me a thought that I think sums him and his attitude to TEC up: "I have sacrificed my conscience and my friends for the sake of unity, and I don't see why you shouldn't do the same."


(Hand clapped to forehead). I think you are absolutely right. This has the ring of truth to it, and it's frightening .... and sad.

Paul said...

It just boggles the mind that the year is 2010 and the Church of England is still debating women as bishops. Why is this still an issue?

I can only conclude that liberals and moderates left the church long ago, and the C of E is stuck in an arch conservative backwater. What a mess.