Sunday, 14 February 2010

An english play about French colonialism, religion, tolerance and truth

I must get out more. More specifically I must get out to the theatre more. This review of a production by Peter Brook resonated with me over the weekend. Can't really say who but it was heartening to read that was thoughtful when writing abotu religion and not just boorishly negative. Sadly I don't hink I'll make it to London to see this before the end of the month but maybe Brook, who lives in Paris, will put on a production in France.

Although set in Mali 80 years ago, the story is filled with contemporary reverberations. It shows what happens when religion fails to accommodate dissent in the pursuit of sectional truths. It also topically shows the devastation wrought by uncomprehending European powers who impose their values on others: there is a bitter humour in the scene where the French induct the Africans into patriotic Gallic songs, or interrogate a Sufi leader as if a political subversive. But, in the end, the show is neither rancorous or bitter. It is about the limitations and the necessity of tolerance, and achieves a moving resolution as Tierno Bokar "goes to death as to a feast".
I also enjoyed reading this about an impromptu workshop with Brook, sounds like great fun.