The Pilgrim’s Progress
Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
RNCM Theatre, 31 March 2019
This was for the most part a gripping production of Vaughan Williams’ great ‘morality’, as he once termed it.
Set during the First World War, we see Pilgrim as a deserter who leaves his fellow soldiers behind in order to search for a better way of life. After that, we pretty much follow Bunyan’s classic: Pilgrim encounters many people, the comfortable and the unfortunate and the damned, but none quite possess his urgency and his resolve to attain Christian virtue.
My only qualm with the production was the ending, where we saw Pilgrim on the couch and a Freud figure listening sympathetically to his story. Somehow, it undercut Pilgrim’s Faith, which was until then (in my mind anyway: I bought it whole) inviolable. And I mean, is psychoanalysis (a pseudo-science at best) to be placed above Christianity? Really?
Details of future performances of The Pilgrim’s Progress can be found here.