• Job Pilgrim in style of mediaeval miracle play

    Date: 2019.02.16 | Category: 南京夜网 | Tags:

    Job Pilgrim: Maartje Sevenster as Hope Heart – Job’s wife – and Job – Neil Roach. Job Pilgrim: Neil Roach (Job) and Lindsay Roe (dervish).
    Nanjing Night Net

    Job PilgrimBy Vivien Arnold. Kaleidoscope Productions. The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre. November 20 and 21 at 8pm. Tickets $35/$25. Bookings: theq,net.au.

    For her dramatised oratorio Job Pilgrim, Vivian Arnold adapted and updated the biblical story of Job, in which a man’s faith in God is sorely tested. The piece combines symbolically named characters in the style of a mediaeval miracle play with a chorus of pilgrims who function like a Greek chorus.

    Job Pilgrim (Neil Roach) is an academic who is caught  plagiarising by a student, Will Judge (Edy Syquer) . Although it was a mistake, the student tells the dean and Job has a breakdown and is committed to a mental hospital.

    Not only does he have a mental crisis, he has a spiritual one too.

    “He can’t find God anywhere,” Arnold says.

    Among the other  characters are some who are of no help on his quest, like the Three Naysayers  – atheist Ivor Drain (Terry Johnson), hedonist Oliver Goodlife (Michael Thompson) and humanist Ada Fairway –  who try to persuade Job to give up his  spirituality and Dr Death (Jim Bowring) who tempts Job to commit  suicide.

    But on the other side are his wife, Hope Heart ( Maartje Sevenster), the nurse Martha Goodbody (Michelle Priest), the  highly spiritual volunteer Sophia Wise (Louise Page) and the orderly Christoff (Thompson Quan Wing) – whose name, like the others,  is no coincidence.

    Job Pilgrim was a long time in gestation. While the story of Job was one inspiration for the work, another was more deeply personal.

    “In 1996 and 2000 I had two stints in a mental hospital. For me it was a spiritual crisis.”

    She was terribly afraid of dying if there was no God.

    “It was my own spiritual crisis – I felt completely and utterly deserted and also desperate.”

    Her recovery was aided by music and painting and relationships and she decided to channel some of her feelings into Job Pilgrim.

    “I don’t want to imply that everyone with a mental illness has a spiritual crisis,” she says.

    But she knows others who’ve been in similar situations so she isn’t the only one with this experience.

    The members in Kaleidoscope are mostly in their 60s and 70s with a few in their 20s, 40s and 50s. It’s been going since 2007 and she says various churches have been very supportive in giving them rehearsal space .

    Proceeds for the performances  go to Home in Queanbeyan which provides permanent accommodation for previously homeless people suffering from mental illness.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.