Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Saints or Spooks?

As we approach Halloween (All Hallow's Eve) the Holy Family Guild is again preparing its alternative celebration. No skeletons, vampires or zombies but martyrs, saints and real role models for our children. It is important that they become acquainted with the saints and learn how to be saintly. It is also important for them to become aware of the Church Triumphant and its relationship to the Church Militant and the Church Suffering. So we celebrate with a parade of saints (children and adults taking on the role and costume of a saint) and then after Benediction we walk in procession to honour the Holy Souls in purgatory. At a grotto we light candles to remember our dead, then the fire is blessed and lit and finally everyone enjoys fireworks and a tasty BBQ. This cleverly combines Halloween (with less scary and often very inventive costumes) and November 5th, Guy Fawkes, which, Catholics, shouldn't really celebrate! Children have a huge amount of fun and do not feel left out when friends tell of their Halloween or Guy Fawkes expeditions.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

'Wicked', the musical

On a recent trip to the capital my husband and I took in the musical, ‘Wicked’. It is billed as the untold story of the Witches of Oz. And so we meet Elphaba the misunderstood girl with emerald green skin and Galinda the beautiful and popular blonde. They become unlikely friends as well as rivals in love. The plot begins before and continues after Dorothy’s arrival from Kansas and apparently (although I haven’t read it) is based on a 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire.
Any way we both loved it. The sets and costumes were stunning, it was very funny in places and the songs were exhilarating if not memorable. Most of all there was a lot to consider: how people relate to one another, what being wicked actually means and can good come from evil. Especially of note was the way the plot was so cleverly entwined into the story of The Wizard of Oz and the friends Dorothy makes on arriving there. It would be wrong to say anything more of the plot and risk spoiling it for future audiences who also may not have read the book on which it is based, so suffice it to say that it is a show that can be genuinely enjoyed by families with children of all ages.