Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 22. Day 235. Art imitating life

Sure, life sometimes imitates art but it is so, so interesting when it happens the other way around. This is especially so when it's about sex, religion or politics. The story of St Mary's, a Catholic Church in South Brisbane just down the road from where I live, is a story of such intrigue, such fascination that it reads like a stage play - and now it is, or at least it will be in a week or so. The priest and congregation of St Mary's is now in exile and worships not in the church built Italian Renaissance-style church built 1893 but in the very ugly Trades and Labour Council building which is, ironically, just across Hope Street. The story of how the church in Brisbane split and how Father Peter Kennedy was excommunicated from the Catholic Church is the story of an unholy uproar within the church. When you hear Queensland Theatre Company Artistic Director Sam Strong talk about it, as I did at a play briefing tonight, you just want to see it. It is rare that a writer and cast are able to meet the individuals they are representing on stage. It is rare for an audience to be able to see such local stories on stage before the ink is yet on that page in history let alone dried. It is an exciting project. I'm pretty sure that after two years in the development stage, this isn't the last we will hear of St Mary's in Exile

 Father Peter cried when he saw it at a special private preview. I have a sneaky suspicion I might just do the same.

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