From the Dramaturg's Journal


Sarah Raskin, Dramaturg

Racing Demon, though universal in theme, deals specifically with a religious institution struggling to maintain its relevance to people's lives as the 21st century approaches. Its leaders grapple with both their own spirituality and their conflicting interpretations of how to carry out the church's mission. No one, even supposedly pious professionals steeped in honesty, service and tradition is above human failings; Racing Demon touches on their dilemmas of doubt, games of political favorites and power-mongerings. For Lionel, the question is where to find the recognizable presence of God; Southwark's concern is how to retain tradition in a world of change; Harry struggles to maintain a level of personal modesty to ensure his professional security; Tony tries, to the opposition of his mentors, to encourage an enthusiasm previously missing from their approach; Streaky ponders why everyone else injects complexity into a simple concept. These yearnings are what draw us in to identify with David Hare's characters. These are not lofty, infallible men, nor is God to whom they speak uncomplicated. These are dedicated leaders whose conflicts lie in the execution of their mission, because their passion for the cause is overwhelming. Racing Demon reminds us that our institutions, and their representatives, are simultaneously frustrating and comforting, challenging and loving.

The Structure Of The Church of England

  • THE GENERAL SYNOD is the governing body of the Church. Once approved by Parliament and given Royal Assent, Synodical Measures are as powerful as an act of Parliament.
  • A DIOCESE is a division of territorial administration, governed by a bishop.
  • A PARISH is a subdivision of a diocese, which is spiritually guided by a clergyman.
  • A BISHOP is the title conferred by the cathedral of the diocese to the highest order of clergy in the Church.
  • A CURATE is the rough equivalent of an intern, one who has completed the Seminary and learns the practical applications of his education by assisting a priest.
  • RACING DEMON is a popular British card game where the quick and confident always beat the thoughtful and indecisive.

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