When we are given great power, even the best of us can and will be corrupted, disrupting the bonds we build with our loved ones; hurting the very ones we love.
Sha'ul was a simple farmer who was chosen to be the first king of the 12 disunited tribes of the Chosen People of YHWH. The enormous power given a king eventually corrupts Sha'ul, making him prideful, arrogant, and defiant of the exacting commands of YHWH – the very God who chose him to be king. The old Prophet Sh’muel declares that Sha'ul has lost the good favour of God and that a new and more worthy king will have to be chosen. Humiliated and traumatized, Sha'ul resorts to alcohol and substance abuse, as he descends into mental ill-health.
Meanwhile, the voice of YHWH tells the Prophet to anoint the 15-year old shepherd, David, as the new king. David, believing that his anointing gives him special powers, fearlessly walks into the battlefield with nothing but a slingshot and his harp.He believed he was some sort of a messiah.
In his pursuit of this mega-destiny, he begins to lose sight of his divine anointing, focusing instead on his ever-growing kingly powers. When he is captivated by the alluring, Bat Sheva, King David commands that she be brought to him. Soon after Bat Sheva falls pregnant. To spare the woman from condemnation and to save his royal reputation, David orders the murder of Bat Sheva's husband. King David then marries the widow, Bat Sheva.
As King David becomes preoccupied with affairs of the state, his fathering of his sons and heirs becomes inconsequential. When his heir apparent, the irresponsible Amnon rapes his own half-sister Tamar, King David fails to redress the situation. Taking matters into his own hands, Tamar’s brother Absalom murders Amnon. Absalom then leads an insurrection to dethrone his own father. King David commands that the insurrection be quelled until consequently Absalom is executed in the name of justice. Absalom was, in fact, David’s favourite son.
David’s reign of forty years was hailed as great by his own people as well as his enemies. But by the sunset of his life, David had become only a shadow of his warrior self – he had a tremor in his hand, his feet would drag, his sense of balance was compromised, and he suffered from bouts of hypothermia. David’s glorious days of kingship were coupled with endless heartache caused upon him by his own family. Since becoming king, David rarely made music - he had court musicians to do that for him.
At his deathbed, David commands that his son, Sholomo, his second son by Bat Sheva, be crowned the next king. " Sh'lomo" means peace.
Years ago, my impression of the David whom I knew of from the Bible was this sweet, young, socially awkward boy who apparently grew up into this beautiful hunk, whom God Himself called a “man after My own heart.” Therefore, to my mind, he was incorruptible. Picture perfect. I was in love! To later learn that he had quite an array of foibles, failures and deplorable crimes to his name made me wonder if I had a secret attraction to bad boys. No. It was a strange admiration for a man who refused to let anyone, or anything stop him from completing a task assigned to him. It was great respect for a man who remained faithful to his God despite the countless tragedies that weighed his life down. It was an irrational attraction to a man who kept loving and giving love to others, despite being deprived of human love himself as he was growing up. I was and am in awe of a man who was miles away from being perfect, and yet achieved greatness.
iMPERFECT Messiah development through the years.
Actors rushing to update their scripts minutes before presentation. Script revisions were being made at every rehearsal up to the day of the Staged Reading. L-R: Georgina Ulrich, Robbie D'Orria, 13-year-old Billy D'Orria (who read the part of Sh'lomo, youngest son and successor to King David) and professional actor John Leahy (who drove 1.5 hours from the Melbourne Suburbs to Seymour, for every rehearsal, to support iMPERFECT Messiah)
A staged Reading is a semi-staged presentation of new work, with actors reading from the book/script,some or all of the songs being sun g live to a piano track, actors in neutral costumes using minimal representative costumes and props, with a narrator reading the stage directions.
The purpose of this activity is to gauge whether the written work is ready to be fully produced for a paying audience.
Beth, inspired by Staging Director Peter Read's commitment to the project, re-designed the Staged Reading concept by segmenting the mounting of the scenes into weekly showcases, captured on video. The result is an incubator project towards The iMPERFECT YouTube Series.Watch this space.