Sunday, May 11, 2014

Conchita and Christ Androgyne and Jesus Queen of Heaven


The tragedies in classic Greek theatre were all created in competition with each other, and I sometimes wonder what would happen if Scottish theatre adapted a similar scheme. Say the current Edinburgh Lyceum production of “Pressure” was competing with the current Glasgow Citz production of “The Libertine” for a top place in the municipal theatres league... 

Perhaps it really would add a certain excitement and urgency and edge to the whole theatrical process.

But then I look at Eurovision and suspect it maybe wouldn’t so good at raising artistic standards....

I missed Austria’s entry, the only one I really wanted to see, and didn’t stay up for the results. And was so happy this morning to see that Conchita Wurst won. 

And then this morning someone sent me an image of Christ Androgyne, who may or may not also be the Conchita who won, and I would show it you here if I was better at working with images, and the coincidence struck me because I am so engaged in the forthcoming revival of GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS QUEEN OF HEAVEN, working on the press release in fact...

...and remembering at the same time the young bearded queer person I saw in full make-up gathering all their courage to walk down Brick Lane.

That was last week when i was staying in a hotel nearby, and a bit nervous about it, I guess because it made me think of all the times people used to laugh at me and pass remarks at me and shout abuse at me when I walked down the street. And how frightening and distressing it all was.

And the inspiring thing about that young queer and Conchita is that they boith have the courage to display their male femininity and defy that kind of ridicule.

As for Christ Androgyne, I was just on my way to church, as it happened, and wearing a nice dress. Just like my mum used to, I realised... I was a little late, and the church was full, and at first I couldn’t see an empty seat.

Which pleased me, because my church (Augustine United http://www.augustine.org.uk/) is a beautiful vibrant inclusive congregation and I love being part of it.

The service was beautiful, inspired by an engaged spirituality that is about creating a better world.

And it left me thinking of how, in spite of everything, we somehow still need a spirituality that is open both to the masculine and the feminine, and that is about lived loving experience of the world.

And that, as I try to do in my JESUS QUEEN OF HEAVEN, it matters to create theatre that reflects and expresses and celebrates that liberating sense of sacredness. And that encouraged me in this mad enterprise.

And then, as Jesus Queen of Heaven, I wanted to

Bless the brave young queer walking proudly down Brick Lane

For their courage inspires courage in others

and

Bless Conchita, the beautiful singer, for their song brings so many hope

And in spite of mockery and oppression

Like the phoenix we will rise....

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