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THE NEW RELIGION
Transcript of THE NEW RELIGION
by Clare Reddaway
CONTEXT / SETTING
A neighbourhood in Bath.
WHO IS CLARE REDDAWAY?
Authors short stories and scripts
Read by children and adults.
Scripts read in theatre and radio
Performs with “Heads and Tales”.
WHAT IS RELIGION?
Martin Jenkins (founder of new religion)
Lucien Marksbury (Martin’s neighbour)
Max (Lucien’s son)
Jessie, Mrs Frobisher, Rajiv, Jonathon & Emma (neighbours)
Martin Jenkins, apparently chronically disgruntled, is inspired by an advert for discounted religious garments, to start a new religion. He advertises his religion in his neighbourhood , making sure not to invite Lucien Marksbury who steals his parking spot. Thrillingly, many of his neighbours do turn up.. After chit- chat, Martin is smugly convinced that he has “touched a chord”. Disappointingly, Lucien turns up too. As the evening unfolds, Martin improvises on what to do next, basing his decisions on probably what he has observed and assumed about other religions. The group come up with all sorts of rules – some of which seem particularly ridiculous and dodgy. They wish to restore peace, quiet and cleanliness to their neighbourhood. After the first meeting, Lucien withdraws. Each week, more rituals/activities seem to be added on. After one disastrous episode where Martin 9patrolling the streets) was assaulted by drunken revellers and ignored by an unsympathetic cop, the congregation decide to stop their missionary work. They decide instead to focus on improving their community by keeping an eye on their neighbours and by getting neighbours to follow the congregations suggestions on sprucing up the place. This was met with cooperation from the neighbours – with the exception of Lucien. When Lucien refuses to give up his parking spot, the congregation led by martin, beat him up. Martin goes as far as threatening Lucien with a hot coal. The police are called and while Martin is not jailed, he does become the laughing-stock of the town.
several key aspects but no firm agreement
uses symbols and narratives narratives to explain meanings or give explanations
Ethics and life lessons
a public, organised activity including many people
Hierarchic, place of worship, sermons etc.
Some emphasise belief (doctrine) while others, practice (cult)
Not all religions are universal
Martin angry at Lucien for taking his parking space
Martin does not invite Lucien.
Martin physically threatens Lucien.
Martin gloats about scaring Lucien.
Martin is bold enough to think he can start a new religion.
Marti and congregation believe that they can and should reform their community.
The congregation feel they are a law unto themselves.
Need to feel important.
Martin uses the religion to overcome his boredom.
The congregation use the religion to run away from hum-drum lives.
Use the religion to feel less ordinary.
Conformity / need to belong
While Martin began the religion, he still needed
to feel part of something – hence the
The congregation use each other to act out
atrocious acts in safety of their numbers.
Religion gives them a sense of purpose.
They have shared goals.
Those who don’t want to belong are abused.
the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
Disrespect of religion
Man vs society (Martin and legislation)
Man vs Man (Martin and Lucien)
Irony and humour
Claiming to want peace but resorting to violence.
Using religion for personal gain (recycling issue).
Titles’ ability to transform mundane into the extra-ordinary.
Being fickle in finding a ‘purpose’.
Martin’s disapproval of rule creation being democratic.
The descent of the meetings into festivity.
The silly rules – no purpose really. Cause chaos.