Sunday, 24 May 2009

Final preparations and brother-bloggers

Oh Lord. Like an archetypal diarist apologising to his/her long-neglected diary I have once more let too long pass between posts (actually that sounds like Stephen Fry apologising for not podcasting often enough). Anyway, as per usual much has happened in the interim, all of which I shall get to anon. But most recently, and in a way most excitingly, the Belfast Mystery Players have been namechecked and well and truly plugged by a fellow traveller of the blogosphere. For those of you who haven't yet visited, Alan in Belfast - - is a great blog surveying all sorts of goings-on cultural, social and political in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the wider world. A fan of most things mystery-play he's taken an interest in our humble endeavours and posted this entry, for which we are much obliged -

In other news our Facebook page (check out the widget to the left), which was created just before the last entry, has proven surprisingly popular. In the great tradition of social-networking it has gathered us many friends and friends-of-friends (also a nifty way of reminding everyone of rehearsals).

Speaking of which we've completed our weekly rounds of piecemeal rehearsals, and in the coming week will finally get to bring everyone together to run through the whole thing, from start to finish, over and over again until it's a well-oiled machine. It's pretty well-oiled already, and we've been delighted with the progress of rehearsals. Last Tuesday we got to rehearse with our super-talented Expositors for the first time, which was fantastic. While I co-wrote the Adam and Eve scenes, I wrote the Expositors' scenes myself. In fact, while by their very nature the various episodes of the Mystery Plays are based on biblical and traditional sources, the Expositors' scenes (which are dotted between each episode, explaining and commenting-on, Muppet Show style, each scene) are the only elements of the performance completely made up from scratch. So seeing them performed for the first time filled me with a mixture of pride, anxiety (should I change that line!?) and relief - luckily what I found funny inside my head is also funny outside. We've also put some great work in on everything else, from the Creation and Fall of the Angels, through the Creation and Fall of Man down to the Nativity.

But what is a play without its props? To that end, a few weeks ago myself and Lorraine took a trip into Belfast city-centre to raid the famous Elliotts for some inflatable sheep, five pairs of angel wings and two pairs of devils horns (not to mention the pair of each I'd previously purchased). We also got some funky white bathrobes for Adam and Eve. Lorraine meanwhile procured labcoats and a baby-doll, I picked up Angelic clipboards and a microphone and this week shall secure a teapot and teacups, biscuits (all will be revealed) and some buckets to collect money for charity - admission may be free but you're not getting off that easy! Also the instrumental music has been thoroughly rehearsed and the two songs which bookend the performance are sounding rather lovely.

So all is set for the last week and hopefully the big day. Fingers crossed God smiles upon us (the play's about Him after all) and makes sure it doesn't rain...