A particularly interesting way of exploring the Bible and its implications in today’s world is the theatre. Drama uses practically the same kind of language as the liturgy. The major difference between ritual and theatre is that the first supposes that only believing participants play a part in it, while the second supposes that, besides the primary performers, there is also present an audience of critical observers.

A group led by a German director, Bjorn Potulski, and including members from several European countries, as well as from all three of the great Mediterranean Religions, recently gave a performance called Lust and Order that evoked the story of Hebrew Patriarchs from Abraham to Joseph, the performance was not conceived by any means as proclamation or preaching of the Old Testament message, but as a way of raising awareness of a fundamental part of our cultural heritage. It may be all the more deeply operative in our minds and hearts, the more it is hidden below consciousness of it.

The contemporary style of theatrical language enables the story to be perceived as concerning archetypal figures rather than historical characters. The stories of the Patriarchs in fact bring before our eyes typical personalities, such as those of rival brothers, father-son failure to communicate, women who become femmes fatales. The sort of pre-marriage negotiations of quite primitive types are accompanied by Viennese waltzes. Three generation groups are arranged in such ways as will inevitably recall the sort of family photographs that were beloved of the Victorians. By these means the general impression given is of the unimportance of the passage of time. This view of history may actually be contrary to that implied in the Biblical narrative itself. It raises questions in the mind of any spectator who has already heard a version of the stories about the different and even contrary ways in which the stories can be interpreted.

The stage setting included a transparent screen dividing the performance space into two worlds of unequal visibility. This device suggested the different layers of meaning that the Biblical texts often if not always have.

        The Old Testament Project
Taps the Past & Present Exodus
SUNDAY TIMES, Malta, October 21st, 2007

Au cœur d'un projet de « Théâtre européen »
LE BIEN PUBLIC, Dijon (France), October 18th, 2007

Difficulties in Creation
Munich (Germany), August 31st, 2007

Ripe for rediscovery – Interview with
Prof. de Marco President Emeritus of Malta
SUNDAY TIMES, Malta, August 19th, 2007

Lust and Order
THE MALTA INDEPENDENT, Malta, August 19th, 2007

Citadels of love, of pride, of disarray
SUNDAY TIMES, Malta, August 19th, 2007

Religion, politics and theatre
SUNDAY TIMES, Malta, October 28th, 2007

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