Featured photo: Peter Chrispe

Our SICA Britain-supported chamber performance of ‘King Richard II’ by Shakespeare, crowdfunded by 8 Subud artists and over 30 donors, became a sell-out on the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.

Lucas Augustine and I tell the story with objects, puppets, acting, music and audience participation. Many Subud folk contributed to its making—performers, artists, makers and inspirational helpers.  There are cultural cross-connections with Subud.  For example our Czech rod-puppets are called ‘Javaiky‘ after Java, where such puppets are thought by the Czechs to have originated.

The effort of doing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe is more than offset by the camaraderie and atmosphere, helped by adverse weather—now hot, now wet.  Our intimate room got intensely stuffy, yet audiences would stay behind.  Why?  Reviewers and colleagues picked up on a theme of love—as in what we do it for because there’s no money (unless you’re a famous comedian)!

One wrote: “….touching and exciting, made from charm and wit and – dare I say? – love”.  The lachrymose self-pitying King Richard inspires diminishing love until he is usurped.  The play is full of grief.  What’s the love bit then?  My theory (which is mine) is that there is a Spirit of SICA.  It is refreshing.  If one asked for it beforehand the shows were better for some intangible spark.  SICA has a growing future as a resourceful producer of new art, culture and education, crossing boundaries and disciplines. With faith.

Photo: Hadrian McMinn

After Edinburgh we played at the Perth Subud Centre, as a ‘Centreprise’ experiment organised by Mirabelle and Harman Scott. It was our biggest audience, and included children—for a Shakespeare!  Way back, as a child, I had sat enthralled in a Subud home in Germany while Samuel Günther (who recently died) recited ‘Faust’ by candlelight.  An inspiration.

Thanks to all.

Gregory Gudgeon

+447876163644 (UK)  +420721959344 (CZ)

“…a truly unforgettable Puppet King Richard II” (ArtsIndustryMagazine)