September 15, 2009

The London performance

I am back from London and over jet lag. The Westminster Theater Company did two shows of the play based on Bikeman, on September 10th, 2009 and September 11th. The moving force was Chris Barton who devised the play using the poem as a script. Chris calls it: 9-11 A Survivor's Tale. And it was moving.

Both nights were sold out in the theater near Westminster Abby. Chris gave spell-binding performances that had the audiences in tears. To me, the parts that I still struggle with when reading them had me struggling in the theater too. But it had the same effect on those around me too.

Where will it go next? That is a good question. Chris would like to bring it to New York at some point. I would like that too of course. It strikes me as interesting that there hasn't been a play about the events of 9-11 in New York, or if there has been one, I am not aware of it.

This play was wonderfully received on tour this summer in South Africa and I can report that it was very wonderfully received in London as well. Why not here in New York?

Is the wound of that day still too raw? Is it a subject that New Yorkers, who are all survivors in effect, still do not want to live through again? Perhaps.

But there will come a time when this play, as emotionally wrenching as it is, will be something that everyone will be able to see. Beyond that, I believe it is a story that all should see.

Time will tell.

You can see a few clips of the play and Chris' wonderful performance on You Tube. The site also includes an interview with me, part of a CBS News production.

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