Plays by Deborah Freeman

I have completed `Remedies,` a play about M E.  Background research...

Writing Groups

I am setting up a new writing group in East Finchley, to be held in the atmospheric location of an East Finchley...

Novels by Deborah Freeman

 A few years back. I answered an ad on the Radio 3 website, from the conceptual art company, Blast Theory...

Poems by Deborah Freeman

These appeared in the journal Jewish Renaissance, 2008.  `Fish.` `Fasting.` `Open a Gate for Us. ` `After the...

Two Plays in Two Days

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Last night we saw The Screwtape Letters, at the Park Theatre, and this evening saw the screening of No Man`s Land, at The Phoenix East Finchley.

The Screwtape Letters, I should have known, were one of C S Lewis`s most Christian books and this production, funded by the American Fellowship for the Arts, a Christian proselytising organization, was unashamedly evangelical, which definitely put me off. I do not like to be preached to,  and certainly not in a play. Most of the audience didn`t mind at all, being better prepared than we were, and it is fair to say that what with the setting (hell), and all the content, it really was like preaching to the converted.

The moral I took from the experience was not that Christianity is the only path to love and the possibility of eternal life - but `read reviews if there are any before you go to see a play.`

My take on theatre is that a good play can be about religion and dogma if it chooses to be, but it should not be a vehicle for preaching it to an audience.

No Man`s Land was the opposite. Hardly surprising. Pinteresque dialogue flowing effortlessly from one topic to another, between one character and another, with no clear (to me) message at all.

With all the confusion that that gave rise to, I would choose a play with no message every time.  And the acting was superb. 

Twenty years ago I was recovering from a 3 year episode of the `mystery` illness M E, and spent quite a bit of time tucked in an armchair, or in bed, watching TV. I used to worry that my imagination, my motivation to be out in the worldl, might be damaged, given that the illness seem to be taking an inordinate amount of time to clear up. When I watch episodes of Star Trek, with Patrick Stewart`s Jean-Luc Picard, and (never admitted it at the time!) enjoyed them enormously, I said to myself: well, at least ME hasn`t stopped me fantasising about travelling to new galaxies...So not much wrong with my levels of interest, curiosity, motivation, etc.

.....

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