Last week, the new play "The Quality of Mercy", written and directed by Leonie Caldecott, was performed at the Oxford University Chaplaincy. The play was put on as part of the spiritual preparation for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The actors were young people from the Oxford Oratory parish. I was glad to hear that the play was a great success.
There is an article on the play at the Second Spring blog: Rhapsodic Theatre reborn Here is a summary from there:
The new play, directed by Teresa Caldecott with choreography by Anna Maria Mendell and music by Benedict Nichols featuring the voice of John Paul II, was part Theatre of the Word and part Ballet of the Word, a multi-levelled Theo-drama about youth and age, despair and modernity, vocations to marriage and celibacy. It wove together the poetry of John Paul II with Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and passages from Scripture (in beautiful adaptations by Dr Carl Schmidt of Balliol). It exposed the spiritual warfare taking place in the everyday life of young people. It contained the late Pope’s teaching on Mercy, and on his Theology of the Body – all held together by a strong story about a group of youngsters on a hike to the shrine of Manoppello in the Abruzzi, during the last days of John Paul’s life, accompanied by a mysterious stranger who leads each of them to a deeper understanding of themselves and of God’s love.The play is set over the week from Easter Monday to Divine Mercy Sunday in the last week of Blessed Pope John Paul's life. Rhapsodic Theatre is a reference to the style of theatre in which the young Karol Woytyla was involved, exploring the processes and motivation of human spiritual growth to express the transforming action of the divine mercy in life.
Here are a few further links related to the play:
- The post at the Second Spring forum
- Some photos from the dress rehearsal
- An interview on Zenitwith Leonie Caldecott
7 May, 10pm Eastern time, 7pm Pacific
3 May, 8pm London time
The play needs funding to cover the costs so far and to fund other possible developments. If you are able to, you can donate at the Divine Comedy Productions JustGiving page