Seeing More Clearly with the Eyes of Love: A New Liturgy

29 Feb Seeing More Clearly with the Eyes of Love: A New Liturgy

‘Seeing More Clearly with the Eyes of Love’ is a new liturgy based on William Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which has been co-written by academics from Regent’s Park College and creative artists.  The first presentation will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-Upon-Avon, on Tuesday 2nd August at 5:30pm; free entry.  The second presentation will be at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, on Wednesday 3rd August at 7pm; free entry (retiring collection).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream contains two significant references to the New Testament: Bottom’s misquoting of St Paul (‘The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen…’) and Bottom’s declaration taken from the Letter to the Ephesians (‘I assure you: the wall is down that parted their fathers’). In this ‘Liturgy for Voices’ these references are woven together with other excerpts from the play, words from the biblical poem ‘Song of Songs’, and elements from the traditional Christian liturgy to enable those present to explore Shakespeare’s own  theme of clarifying the vision which belongs to love. The liturgy also includes five newly commissioned pieces from contemporary poets who will be present to speak their poems based on characters in the play – Laurence Sail (Titania), Michael Symmons Roberts (Demetrius), Sinead Morrissey (Puck), Micheal O’ Siadhail (Helena) and Jenny Lewis (Bottom) – and the whole is intended to present an aspect of ‘Civic Shakespeare’, reflecting on the potentially transforming effect of love in civil society.