Day 58 dream believer

February 26, 2010

meeting at 10am with Claire at More London Estates who have given us the use of The Scoop as an ‘in-kind’ contribution to The Southwark Mysteries production.

The Scoop is an open-air stone amphitheatre close to the London Assembly building (shaped like a collapsing fungal growth) and Tower Bridge. This stretch of the south bankside, east of London Bridge, beyond where is now Hays Galleria and the HMS Belfast floating naval museum,  was previously an area of derelict wharves and warehouses, the ghost of its pre-World War II glory days as ‘London’s Larder’. Which was why, during the Blitz, it had been bombed so thoroughly.

More London developed it, the familiar corporate canyons – some interesting architecture, creating a long view up to Tower Bridge, pleasing water features – though if you don’t watch your step you could step right into the little channel! There’s a Hilton Hotel, some pricey restaurants and designer cafes, and lots of office space. Not really my kind of place, not the Southwark invoked in these mysteries, and yet…

It is now and for the foreseeable future a part of my Borough, my old medieval manor, and there are people working for More London to engender a sense of community into this recent urban entity.  And they’ve offered us the free use of The Scoop, which from our perspective is the jewel in their crown. So, thank you…

There were four of us representing The Southwark Mysteries at the meeting – myself, Sarah (director), Kate S (production manager) and Katie (company manager). That should’ve made us look pretty slick and corporate ourselves – at least, it would’ve, if Katie and I hadn’t shown up 10 minutes late, having got lost in the concrete canyon. Fortunately, Sarah and Kate had things well in hand, we added our tuppenceworth, and by the close Claire seemed very happy with our plans to bring our community street theatre to More London.

We’ll do shorter free performances in The Scoop:  noon – 2pm, April 14-17, the week before the three full shows in the Cathedral. There’ll be scenes from the play, performed by the actors working with the community cast. It offers an opportunity for us to present work related to The Southwark Mysteries – for individual cast members to do a particular speech from the play, to have their moment playing Jesus, or Satan, John Taylor, Moll Cutpurse, The Goose or John Crow.

When the play is performed those three times in Southwark Cathedral, I will (God willing) be able to just experience the performance and see what it does to me. Because the only time it was done before, exactly ten years before, I was in it, playing John Crow.

In this new production in the Cathedral, Charlie Folorunsho is playing the part of John Crow*.

* Those of you who’ve followed this obscure little moral tale will know that John Crow – the entity with which I was fully identified in the minds of many and at times, for purposes of psychic channelling, with mine own – is in process of undergoing another transformation, embarking on another journey to open the pathways for all that shall follow this way…

However, just to be clear, at least for the purposes of The Southwark Mysteries, John Crow is a character in a mystery play, not to be confused with John Constable, the author – let alone with that third, greater JC, our hero!

In The Scoop, I’ll perform some of the channelled poems recived from the Goose, the original Vision Books of The Southwark Mysteries. Others may wish to read their own poems or songs of Southwark – and especially from the growing body of work inspired by Crossbones Graveyard, the original “source” of The Southwark Mysteries.

Jiust in case you don’t already know, The Southwark Mysteries – the complete Vision Books, Mystery Plays and Glossolalia – are published by Oberon Books. I do commend this work to you. It’s unlike anything else I’ve written. It’s like I didn’t write it; as if it was written in me by The Goose and John Crow in their dance and journey. It is a magical work. I am still working to decode it, some fourteen years on from that first night of Vision, when The Goose came for John Crow…

The magic is still working. This afternoon walking down Walworth Road to buy charcaol from Baldwin the Herbalist I encountered Kelfin Oberon and Tara, two members of our community cast. Kelfin is himself a poet who similarly channelled a poem of “the Wee” people. He was very positive about the workshop: “People charge a lot for workshops like that and you’re offering it for free. And it was amazing to get to know so many strangers so quickly”

Ah, yes. The name game. So simple, yet by the time you’ve thrown around three balls (shamanistic exercise, frees the mind from dualistic thought!) calling out your own name and the name of the person you’ve thrown it to, after that you know everyone’s name, and once you’ve “walked the space” with them, let alone designated someone your “bomb” or your “shield”, as well as singing a song and reciting a poem about blessings for outcasts…

Yes, and wonderful to see people like them, and Rainbow Lizzie, the party people, the alternative eco-festie crew getting along famously with our octogenarian Grandes Dames of the Cathedral congregation, and Thursday choir,  Betty and Pamela.

The Southwark Mysteries celebrates the Divine Spark in all Humanity – in the outcast and outsider no less than in ‘the great and the good’. Equally, as The Goose reveals her secret teachings to John Crow, she teaches him that even people who work for – for example – big  corporations in anonymous generic cityscapes, have dreams.

here John Crow and i read

the sign at the pilgrim’s inn

don’t have to be
broken to be blessed
by Overie.

here John Crow and i found
larking in Thames
mud the broken
mask of god

here John Crow and i pray
Goddess of Mercy
these broken wings
within me.

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