Saturday, 3 March 2012
Taking to the boards
Some media students asked me to play the role of a priest officiating at a wedding for a piece of coursework they are producing. "We know you're busy...etc" "Oh, I'm sure I can find a little time..." Three cameras, placed at different angles, were trained on me as I began: "Darren and Charlene, it's with great pleasure that members of your family and friends have come together to witness you give yourselves to each other in marriage. It is not good that man should be alone.." At that moment, the scarlet woman came in at the back of the chapel and closed the door noisily. "Who's that?" whispered Charlene. "Oh, it's nobody," mumbled Darren, clearly deceiving her. "Shall we continue?" I interjected. "If there is anybody here who knows of any reason why Darren and Charlene should not be joined in holy matrimony let him speak now or forever hold his peace." (I thought perhaps I ought to say "him or her" and "his or her peace" but decided against it. We never say this line anyway. "It doesn't matter," said one of the students. "It's drama.") At that moment the scarlet woman rose to her full height and declared "I object!" I screamed (this wasn't in the script but I was so involved by this stage that I was responding instinctively) and Charlene dropped her flowers - five times, because they needed to land petals up, thereby adding to the drama. "That's a wrap!" the producer called. "It was very generous of you to give us so much of your time, Father." That's OK. Anything to help out." "We'll send you the DVD." "If you like." Fortunately, nobody was trying to say the rosary during the 40 minutes it took to put all this together.