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A Truly Great Play

May 30, 2018

With summer fast approaching there is time to relax and be inspired by a great play. Through out the history of the theater drama has challenged prevailing thinking and caused the opportunity for growth and new horizons. In a recent reprint of a 1946 script produced as the Lichfield Festival Play Dorothy L. Sayers has done all that. The play is titled THE JUST VENGEANCE (WIPF & Stock, 2011) and is the story of an airman seconds after he is shot down and killed during The second world war. In the city of Lichfield he meets historical English citizens like George Fox and Samuel Johnson as well as Biblical characters from Adam and Eve from the Old Testament to most of the key New Testament figures that come into play during Christ’s passion. The play explores the need and history of the shifting of human guilt to Christ on the cross.  The play includes a choir and originally utilized music which must have been majestic. The play its self is fascinating and reads well in 75 pages or so narrated by the Recorder. It is however Jesus Christ titled Persona Dei in the play who has the lines of life changing beauty and impact. Utilizing the Christian Creeds she knew so well Sayers makes the drama of redemption come alive in the power of Christ’s work on the cross explained in his dialog.  The story hings on the statement by the Choir describing all that they have seen in the play, “Whoso will carry the cross, the cross shall carry him”. The message of the play could not be more timely in our day and age as there is wide spread misunderstanding about human sin, the need for forgiveness and Divine judgement and the nature of Christ’s  death on the cross not unlike in Sayers day. If you are a fan of Sayers though her work in the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries don’t ignore this play it will inspire, encourage, entertain and maybe even transform you.

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