When the Holy Spirit Comes on You

When drawing substance from translated scriptures over-rides rational and reasoned interpretation of real evidence

Theatre as an art from is never rational, objective nor linear in its construction and presentation. It is more of a dream-like experience. No matter how objective, rational and scientific its approach to development might be, even when using verbatim dialogue, the work of theatre is sculptural and multi-dimensional and is highly subjective. And this is its strength and power!

This lack of objectivity applies to the relationship of the audience to the performance as much as it does to the work of the actors and collaborators who prepare and present it. Theatre that claims otherwise becomes dangerously close to propaganda; possibly deceiving its proponents as much as the audiences it gathers.

Theatre and religious texts

Israel Folau sermonising about a monstrous and murderous god

Without delving into the seemingly sexual references in the bible (as suggested in the above title), there is no doubt that the poetic and metaphorical form of biblical writing (Christian and otherwise) gives substance to people’s yearnings, failures and seeking of personal redemption.

And this is the point. The stories are not histories. They are not prescriptions. Religious texts are like theatre texts in that they cannot be more than dreams of insight, perception and subjective realities. However, while theatre claims this reality as a strength, many religious proponents, adherents and followers claim the texts of religion as being the divinely sanctions last word of god: a fundamental truth.

A monstrous and murderous god reeking petty revenge for perceived slights from the underlings in the world cage

Israel Folau is an amazing sporting phenomenon. His achievements are almost super-human. But his brain seems to be hard-wired like a Frankenstein Monster hell bent on fusing left-over electrons from some saintly cadaver with egoistic certainty displayed by psychopathic messiahs. It draws sustenance from extreme authority: a vengeful and petty psychopathic god being the perfect inspiration. And yes, the man is filled with admirable humility as he displays surrender to the Word! He himself displays little personal ego. He is rather in the service of the supreme ego: a monstrous and murderous god reeking petty revenge for perceived slights from the underlings in the world cage.

And the beauty of it is this: such an invisible monster cannot be disproved. In fact, by identifying the actions of other authoritarian monsters throughout history, this one is probably quite capable of ordering the mass murder of children under two years of age or destroying whole cities because of people playing sodomy or submitting one’s daughter to be raped by Angels (smug theologians offer smiling and sanctimonious bullshit explanations) or sending refugees to concentration camps or creating an  Auschwitz.

God of Love and God of Vengeance

Peter O’Toole in “The Ruling Class”; an amazing film drawing out the very notion of sanity in a Capitalist society

Peter Barnes play “The Ruling Class” was popularised by the film of the same name. Peter O’Toole plays a schizophrenic Lord who believes he can be Jesus and embody the god of love. He is loving, light and playful. This of course means he is insane! Then after a series of events, he morphs into the Old Testament god of Vengeance. Coupled with this, our hero believes the God of Vengeance is also Jack The Ripper!

See the movie … or the play if anyone is game to do it …

Psychopathic god who creates fires to burn people, animals and land

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …

Yep … I am against the bullshit that is neurotic religious belief systems. If you want to create a neurotic or psychopathic monster and call it god then so be it. It could be “GREAT”! There might be many circumstances when such creation could be useful: war for instance where you need to encourage people to kill children, innocent people and soldiers who serve the OTHER! Or simply bomb a city into oblivion!

But to placate a god so insecure that it needs to masturbate over its creations who then need to fear its incarnation is simply inhuman and suggests a massive tumor in the very soul of the worshiper. That one could then draw on the hardship and destruction from the bush fires that rage, kill and maim whole communities and threaten the very existence of our society on earth … and then turn it around and use one’s high standing to say it is the vengeance of a disturbed and vengeful monster with murderous intent called GOD … that one could do this suggests a massive problem in ones brain wiring; a vindicative insecurity that seeks to project on to others the very shadow of one’s own preexisting anger and need to strike at the world.

Artaud created a “theatre of cruelty” in which such characters might thrive. They throw light on to the shadows of existence. It is a theatre of disturbance and distortion. But it is only theatre. It seeks to infect dreams. But it isn’t prescribing how we ought to think or act. It certainly questions. Thankfully it doesn’t suggest you will be condemned in a mythical or real hell when the Rapture comes and the Holy Ghost ejaculates blessings on the righteous who are absorbed into heaven as the poor unwashed idiots who are the rest of us are left to suffer in the fire …

Trinculo (Jan 2020)

Published by shadowhousepits

For more than twenty years, I have worked as a writer, theatre director, actor, dramaturg, producer and teacher. ​My work with Shadow House PITS best demonstrates a particular blending of Artaud’s ideal of a “theatre of cruelty”, Brecht’s “epic theatre” and the absurdist theatre of “Ionesco”. This website offers scripts and writings that illustrate this blending. Each script has had at least one season of public performances; most have had multiple seasons. Prior to Shadow House PITS I spent twenty years as a journeyman working at La Boite Theatre (1970s), being an Artistic Director of a theatre-in-education company (Jigsaw) and running a theatre school, Stagecoach (9 years). At one point I also was co-producer of a commercial theatre and bar (PITS) with David Bates. I regard all this prior time as doing a kind of dues in order to focus myself on what is necessary to write and produce work that has value. One needs to do one’s dues in order to have the temerity to declare one’s offerings for public perusal and judgement. Over recent years, I have produced and directed plays from the Western theatre canon, including: HAMLET, TAMING OF THE SHREW, TWELFTH NIGHT, KING LEAR and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare and THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI and MOTHER COURAGE by Bertolt Brecht and THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller. These were all performed by student actors. My own work is more directly influenced by Antonin Artaud, Brecht, Ionesco and Butoh. Have a look at the sample texts and some of the video links. Consider purchasing one for yourself. I hope you enjoy your time here with Shadow House PITS.

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