Good Pr-oduction By Westminster Club The people filled Westminster Cathedral Hall on Monday night to see a performance of Robert Hugh Benson's Passion Play, The Upper Room, given by the Westminster Catholic Club.
It was a good production, which did not attempt the too-ambitious. The actors, though never inspired, were all efficient, and spoke their lines easily and without hesitation.
Particularly good were Miss Christine Galvin as Samuel and Mr. Gerald Moore as Judas.
The great disadvantage with this play is that all the main events happen off stage, so that the characters must take on the duties of reporters. and rush in and out of the Upper Room like reporters in an editorial office, eager to set their copy " before the world.
Straight or Symbolic
It seems that either you must treat the Passion directly—which way calls for great simplicity as at Oberammergau or for great subtlety—or you must treat it symbolically.
The Mass of the Presanctified, in which the symbolism of the ordinary Mass is accentuated, is wonderfully moving. You cannot think of the severe beauty and the desolated sadness of this Mass without inevitably feeling a repulsion from the average Passion Play which is so inadequate an expression of the vast and simultaneous tragedy and triumph which it tries to represent.
Therefore in criticising a Passion Play it seems advisable to forget the Passion and remember rather the lovable humility of Man who has always praised God with music and songs. and sought to show the ways of God by writings and masques and dramas, and has been aware of the insignificance of these things though rejoicing in his power to make them..