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Day 60 strong community massive

February 24, 2010

second of our intro workshops to recruit the community cast who’ll perform The Southwark Mysteries in Southwark Cathedral, working together with a smaller core cast of professionals.

We followed the same basic shape as on the Monday workshop, but the feel was different. Today’s group was smaller – about 25 people – and more focused.  Hey, and Monday’s was pretty good too – and we now have a combined community cast of about sixty. Even if some drop out, that’s enough to rock with.

Ita did the warm-up and theatre games. She made everyone feel safe enough to open up and express themselves, throwing their names around the room with the ball.

On Monday, I’d sat out to take notes – big mistake, I’m still struggling with some of the names. Today, I joined in – and by the time three balls were whizzing round the room I knew everyone’s name.

Ita orchestrating the spontaneous groupings and dividings as everyone mills around exploring the space, takes it up through playful games. The riles of the pick your ‘bomb’ game are initially misunderstood as a couple of over-active ‘bombs’ begin stalking targets. The idea is that you pick your ‘bomb’ to stay away from, ideally so they don’t even know.

Lovely readings of By The Grace of Our Lady Mary Overie, and group singing of The Ballad.

By The Grace ofr Our Lady Mary Overie has been said on each of the last three days – Monday workshop, yesterday at the Crossbones vigil and today, when I introduced it as the poem at the heart of The Book of The Goose, the first Vision Book of The Southwark Mysteries received on the night of 23rd November 1996, AND at the heart of the mystery play, a recognition of Grace revealed in the unlikeliest places, the sacred in the profane, Eternity in time:

By the Grace of Our Lady Mary Overie

Let them see…

Them that sell their time to earn a daily crust to feed a family…
Them that trade the Future in stocks and bonds, or speculate in property…
Them that crunch the numbers on the number crunching north bank in the old City…
Then flood back ‘cross London Bridge to take their trains to Gravesend and the Estuary…

Let them see…

In the hungry eyes of debtors doing time with Dickens’ father in Marshalsea…
The denizens of Bedlam now entrusted to the Care of our Community…
The homeless in the subwayand the dead-end kids from Old Kent Road to Bermondsey…
In the skull-faced Queers and Junkies and the Tart who tested positive for HIV…

By the Grace of Our Lady Mary Overie
Let them see the shining eyes of Our Goddess of Mercy.

In the haggard face of John Crow who watches from his high tower in Trinity…
As in the single mother who lives across the road at Number 23…
The check-out girl in Superdrug whose name-tag says her name is Charity…
And in every human face that is pocked and scarred by what we call Reality…

By the Grace of Our Lady Mary Overie
Let them see the shining eyes of Our Goddess of Mercy.

from The Southwark Mysteries by John Constable (Oberon Books)

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