A Theresian Mystery Play 19 October, 2009


Leonie Caldecott.        “Divine Comedy” in reheasal.

If you scroll down to last month’s entry you’ll see the impact St Therese of Liseux has had on us recently, and read about our new colouring book devoted to her. But this time I want to write especially about the play, A DIVINE COMEDY, which was written by Leonie Caldecott and directed by our daughter Tessa for the Oxford Oratory and the parish of St Aloysius. The cast included a total of sixty parishioners, their ages ranging from 4 to 80.  The roles of Louis Martin, Pope Leo and J.H. Newman were played by Oratorians. In the school matinee performance, Therese’s dog Tom was played byTruffle.

Watching it made me love Therese more than ever, and I think it had the same effect on the big audiences who came each night to see it take place in the church. It brought the parish together, it got young people involved and interested in the life of St Therese, and it communicated a huge amount about the life and especially the spiritual teaching of this wonderful saint who is so often misunderstood. Freddie Quartley’s painted set designs were extraordinarily atmospheric, showing the dark wood in which Dan is lost at the beginning of the play and whence he is rescued by the “Doctor” (Therese). I want to pay tribute to all those involved in creating such a wonderful experience – especially, of course, the actors, and the fathers of the Oratory for being such good sports. Please read more about the play in the programme notes by clicking on the link above.  — Stratford Caldecott