Saturday, April 01, 2006

Robert Cassler's Second in the Realm

Review: This play depicts the historical story of Stephen Langton, picked by Pope Innocent to become archbishop of Canterbury for King John. This sets up an inherent conflict of interest, since John is already preparing to oppose an Interdict from the Pope. Langton becomes disillusioned and eventually helps bring together the nobles to confront the King to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. The Pope becomes his enemy.

I saw a videotape of a performance by a Fairfax, Va. Theater group in 1996. Only 65 pages, the play takes two hours to perform. It might make a great film some day, a good prequel (of three hundred years) to A Man for All Seasons (1966).

There are wonderful passages about moral values, such as when Pope Innocent talks about people who make a spectacle of poverty in order to stand in judgment of others. The historical events are explained in narratives to the audience by Benedict.

No comments: