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‘I find it more helpful to do things in Lent’

12:04 27 February 2013

Rev Ann Easter

Rev Ann Easter

Archant

The Reverend Canon Ann Easter

Traditionally, Lent is a time for giving things up, just as Bishop Adrian wrote in this column a couple of weeks ago, but I have to confess that I find it more helpful to do things in Lent, not to get busier than ever but, in particular, to find things that will enrich my life and soothe and comfort my soul.

So I booked three visits to local theatres.

I’m looking forward to seeing Glasgow Girls at the magnificent Theatre Royal, Stratford – I adore the vivid stories of life and love, with atmospheres of elation and tension created with the barest of props and just the right lighting.

In that theatre’s intimate auditorium, we, the audience, feel as if we’re really part of the story.

Then I’m going to see The Great Gatsby, a story new to me, at Wilton’s, in Grace’s Alley, E1, which was the oldest music hall in the world, and was almost demolished but now is in the process of being restored.

What an amazing place it is, steeped in local history and the perfect background for the varied, imaginative and innovative productions in which the theatre excels.

And last weekend, I went to Brick Lane Music Hall, in Silvertown, to see the pantomime and marvelled as I do every time I go there, that somehow it’s perfect that the building was formerly used as a church as it continues to bring joy and inspiration to so many.

Vincent Hayes, MBE, and his team offer food and live musical theatre and everyone leaves with a smile on their face.

Stories are an ancient and well-attested method of expressing truth and to be transported by the theatre to a fantasy land for a couple of hours is, I believe, an opportunity to encounter a truth about life and love in a new way. As observers, we understand that it’s not real but can enjoy the chance to think about an idea, an emotion or a belief, and see how we feel about it.

And that’s how we learn more about ourselves, each other, the world and God.

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