“The Testament of Mary” is now on Broadway

From our Cultured Despisers file comes, just in time for Easter, the year’s act of defecation on Christ and his Mother: A Testament of Mary. You can read my review of this awful, awful book here.

I can’t imagine even the most secular New Yorker really enjoying this bowl of PC spinach as a theatre experience. It will get the dutiful raves as “important”, of course. But nobody but the most Dwight K. Schrute sort of doctrinaire anti-Christian is really going to like listening to a bitter hag complaining like an iron grey nun in sensible shoes who has commandeered the mike at a FutureChurch workshop on “Raising Awareness of Patriarchy” and is now in the third hour of her monologue about how mean her dad was when she wanted to go to tolo in 10th grade. Bo-ring!

Inspired casting too: the woman who plays the dried-up, bitter, little shrew, Aunt Petunia from the Harry Potter movies. A feast of leeks and onions for the soul.

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  • http://geeklady.wordpress.com GeekLady

    There’s no cause to insult leeks and onions with such a comparison.

    • j. blum

      Leeks and onions are flavor. Flavor is good. Leeks and onions are good.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh noooooooooo. Fiona Shaw also played Medea to great acclaim in NYC a few years back. (!)

  • Joachim

    GeekLady, agreed! 8=;-{)

  • deiseach

    Fiona Shaw is a good actress. Colm Tóibín is a well-regarded Irish literary author. It’ll be the kind of obligatory attendance at an arty occasion where most people are more interested in the boozing and chatting afterwards, having performed their cultural duty (and having been just about ‘transgressive’ enough, without having to actually see something that really would shock their sensibilities).

  • http://Charlenebader.blogspot.com Charlene

    You are hilarious. I can’t keep up with all your posts, but I’m always glad to catch these funny little jewels in amongst the rest. You have a rare gift for a well-composed rant!

  • Stu


  • The Next to Last Samurai

    The bit about Lazarus’s resurrection not working out is cribbed from a short story by a Russian whose name I forget. He’s probably conveniently dead and thus unable to sue.
    When this bozo writes “The Testament of Khadijah,” let me know.

  • KML

    Well, shoot. I was really hoping it was going to be a musical.

  • Kevin M.

    Having watched the accompanying video from the Broadway source, I would like to propose a moratorium on the appearance in the media of anyone with a British/Irish accent. From Richard Dawkins to Piers Morgan to Christopher Hitchens and now to these three stooges connected with this play, we’ve been persuaded to think their other-than- American diction indicates a higher level of intelligence. I say it ain’t necessarily so!

  • Mark R

    Broadway isn’t so much arty as touristy anyway. Arty is off-Broadway.

  • Mark R

    In re to British diction, hardly any British trained actor under the age of 50 has proper theater diction. They all have regional accents, which are fine at home but jarring in period pieces or pieces requiring some vernacular cohesion. We Yanks are real chumps because most of us are not aware of this.

  • Charles Austin

    I saw it last night.
    First. It is FICTION, that is, Toibin made it up. It is neither scripture, nor is it theology.
    Second, it is more reverential towards Mary than all of the “Hail Mary’s” being prayed by the protesters who were outside the theater prior to the performance. The underlying premise – FICTION, remember? – is that what happened was extraordinarily painful to Mary (she cites scripture as the sword “piercing her soul”), but that she was unable to see it all as holy and salvific.
    Scripture itself is silent on what happened to Mary later in her life. So Toibin’s story – FICTION, remember – neither contradicts scripture, nor intends to be holy writ.

    • JoFro

      When I write my book about Martin Luther King Jr wanting black people to continue being slaves and being disgusted that other black people saw his message as a call to equality , I’ll remember to include your line “but my book is more reverential to MLK than all those silly protesters calling me a bigot” and “hey, its FICTION…excuuse me, its only fiction”!

    • Susan

      The real problem with “fiction” is that people end up believing it. A German playwright wrote an utterly fictional piece of garbage about Pope Pius XII not doing anything for the Jews – again, complete fiction – and yet we have been subject to DECADES of lies and slander and a torrent of books on the subject, a torrent that is only now JUST beginning to subside a bit with the release of previously unseen Vatican documents, not to mention things like WWII editorials from the NY Times praising him, contemporary Israelis saying how much he did, etc. ad infinitum.
      The same thing happened with some crazy feminist who wrote that Catholics in the Middle Ages burned “millions and millions” of women as witches (despite secular feminist historian research and websites saying it ain’t so). Then there is the HUGE embarrassment going on right now in Ireland about the “Magdalene Laundries” fiction – nope, nuns didn’t torment orphans. It’s a PR disaster for the left.
      One of the best examples is a piece of fiction by someone whose name I can’t recall that turned the Inquisition into a house of horrors by adapting German Protestant torture instruments never seen in Catholic countries to whip up hatred of the Church, abetted by the invention of the printing press. The Inquisition was not a good thing, but read ANY good scholarship on it and it utterly pales into almost nothingness in the comparison with real torturers and murders (not to mention that people caught under civil cases deliberately blasphemed in order to be moved to the far more lenient and rational Church inquisition!). Again, released documents from the Vatican had a huge effect on legitimate, secular scholarship.
      This is already too long,and there are many, many other examples but look at the damage the fiction Da Vinci Code did: among a million other examples, the Belgium police raided a major Church building where there was a meeting, confiscated the cell phones of all the bishops there, locked them in, and drilled hole sin the sarcophagi of dead bishops looking for secret documents! You can’t make this stuff up! This doesn’t just happen to Catholics – consider the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
      Yeah, some of us know the difference between fiction and reality, but you would be UTTERLY AMAZED at the huge percentage of people who DON’T. This isn’t a call to censor writers – not at all – but it is utterly disingenuous to keep saying, it’s just FICTION (capitalized, as if that helped).

      • Benjamin

        The witch thing drives me nuts and I’m an unbeliever. Not to mention what witch burning their was had nothing to do with Medieval Catholicism and everything to do with the Protestantism of the Early Modern period (the Medievals quite sensibly regarded belief in real witches as superstition).

        • Susan

          Thank you Julie. bad, deceptive fiction, like the Protestant “Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk,” supposedly by a woman who “escaped” from a convent and had horror stories to tell, does INCALCULABLE damage.

          The question I would ask is, “To what purpose and to what end?” WHY do they write these things, and why do people feed on them? I’ll stick with Dostoevsky. Life is too short.

        • Susan

          That’s true, Benjamin! Medieval Dominicans said people could not be convicted of witchcraft, since there was not such thing as witches!

          BTW the thank you to Julie got posted in the wrong place; it was supposed to be under her 5:50 AM post.

        • Theodore Seeber

          Funny, aren’t you for the abortion of witches for the crime of being conceived? 25 million women have been aborted since 1973.

    • Manfred Arcane

      Yes, it is FICTION but it is poisonous fiction (the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was also fiction of a sort). Toibin and his like are PARASITES, using the collective memory, reverence and heritage of an ancient faith, as a way to titillate arrogant deracinated elites and scandalize those poor people who still believe. And they hope to make some money too out of their acts as well! Hope to see that cutting edge, avant garde Toibin produce ‘the true story of Muhammad” or something scandalizing Judaism, but that will never happen, of course.

  • Julie

    Very good, Susan. I have seen the fruits of such lies and stupidity in a gazillion comboxes. I wish everybody in the world could read your comment.