|Fiona Shaw, Colm Tóibín and Deborah Warner. Photographed at New 42nd Street (R) Studios.|
The Testament of Mary is set after the crucifixion of Jesus. Mary is living in Ephesus and reflects on her son's activities leading to his death. Tóibín said he was inspired after viewing a painting of the crucifixion and wondering what it might have been like to be there, after it, and to be able to speak about it. That voice is given to Mary -- and it's not the voice you might expect if you think of her as an innocent, iconic virgin.
Mary represents all of us, Shaw said, somewhere in between what was made out of her and what is expected of her. It's really the story of a mother and son (which Tóibín, a Mellon professor in the English Deperment at Columbia University, has explored in his other works "A Long Winter" and "Mothers and Sons.") She hopes to reveal Mary as a real person -- a mother whose son was late to leave home, went to the big city, hung out with a bunch of "misfits" and got into trouble.
In an excerpt, we saw a cigarette-smoking, bitter Mary, full of rage. Her version of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is a different interpretation of the scripture account and doesn't necessarily hae the happy ending we expect. It's an intense performance. Watch for Shaw to be nominated for a Tony Award,
This marks a 25-year working partnership between Shaw (known to film for her role in the Harry Potter series among others) and director Deborah Warner. The two last collaborated on a New York Production for the award-winning The Waste Land.
For tickets and information about The Testament of Mary: www.testamentonbroadway.com 212-239-6200.