Announcing: Divine Comedy Productions
I turn to you, the artists of the world… to rediscover the depth of the spiritual and religious dimension which has been typical of art in its noblest forms in every age. It is with this in mind that I appeal to you, artists of the written and spoken word, of the theatre and music... especially to you, Christian artists…You are invited to use your creative intuition to enter into the heart of the mystery of the Incarnate God and at the same time into the mystery of man.
Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists, 1999
In memory of John Paul II, himself a dramatist and poet, and inspired by the visit of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux to England in September 2009, this Easter the Oxford Oratory is founding the Divine Comedy production company to produce works of Christian theatre. We believe this is the most appropriate and exciting way to catch the popular imagination and draw young people into the cultural exploration of faith.
The first production, Divine Comedy, the life and mission of St Thérèse presented as a modern “mystery play” and featuring a total of 60 members of the parish of St Aloysius, was written by parishioner Léonie Caldecott and directed by her daughter Teresa. (For photos see here.) A member of the audience wrote a review of the play, saying:
“This modern story of two young lovers, which unfolds echoing the structure of Dante’s Divine Comedy, becomes mysteriously intertwined with the remarkable adventure of another young lover, Thérèse, and in doing so gradually reveals the profundity and timeless relevance of her message. This dramatic and complex juxtaposition of two spiritual journeys, shot through with the rich symbolism of the medieval miracle play tradition, invokes the sort of mystical realism so characteristic of Karol Wojtyla’s rhapsodic theatre. Like Wojtyla, the Caldecotts aim to counterbalance the outer world of actions and events with an imaginative portrayal of their characters’ inner drama of ideas, memories and personal struggle.”
The Oratory seeks funding to support the development of this promising new initiative in cultural evangelization. Details from Fr Daniel Seward CO <[email protected]>