The Cardinals by Stan’s Cafe trades fire and brimstone for humor and humanity

The Cardinals at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh

During the
2013 edition of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Cardinals was performed in the Greyfriars Kirk, a church that has stood in Edinburgh’s old town since 1620 and is home to a congregation of the Church of Scotland.

Three British Catholic Cardinals in crimson robes are on a mission of evangelism — touring with a puppet show of their own making that presents abbreviated, extrapolated readings of The Bible. At least that’s how it starts — in Genesis, of course — but the Cardinals’ stories eventually extend beyond the literal end of the New Testament to depict elements of contemporary history. As it turns out, this task calls for increasingly more skill and technique than they possess. Despite their naïve best intentions, only a dependence on their stage manager will get them through—a young, female, Muslim stage manager.

So, far from mocking faith, I believe that this play got to the nub of what it is all about. It was a moving and powerful piece of theatre and I would recommend any thinking congregation to welcome it as a piece to be performed in a church. I would recommend it, too, to anyone who thinks that religion is pure delusion. Beyond the mythology and the alternative paradigms that constitute a Biblical worldview, the themes at the heart of the Biblical narrative, and at the heart of The Cardinals, go to the very nub of what it means to be a human being today.

Richard Frazer, Minister, Greyfriars Kirk Edinburgh

Renowned for spectacular visual flair and superb comic inventiveness, Stan’s Cafe, a theatre collective from Brighton, England, stages a spectacular play-within-a-play. We watch the Cardinals perform to their imagined audience while we, all the wiser, enjoy the startlingly funny, strangely touching theatrical conceits. The Cardinals builds from a history of mystery plays in the early church, during which Bible stories were acted out for the uneducated masses. Simultaneously, it also embraces and reflects the complexities of faith in today’s world — regardless of religion or tradition. As remarkably elegant as it is simple, The Cardinals offers a modern meditation on belief that trades fire and brimstone for humor and humanity.

cardinalsThe Cardinals: Stan’s Cafe (England)

Part of Three Stories High Downtown Theatre Festival

JAN 28 / 7:30PM
JAN 29 / 7:45PM
JAN 30 / 9:30PM
JAN 31 / 2PM / 7:30PM
Long Center for the Performing Arts