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Time to act?


A Parisian performance of the play On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God has become the latest work to be disrupted by Christian protest.

The play, which is directed by Romeo Castellucci and played at the Barbican in April, is about a devoted son caring for his incontinent father, continually cleaning his immaculate white apartment after the old man's accidents. It ends with the backdrop revealing the giant face of Antonello da Messina's Christ Blessing, with the words 'You Are My Shepherd', and a brown stream weeping from one eye.

The performance at the Theatre de la Ville was brought to a halt by protestors with placards saying 'Stop Christiano-phobia', and the following night they threw eggs at audience members.

Castellucci responded: 'I forgive them for they know not what they do … I forgive them because they are ignorant and their ignorance is much more arrogant and damaging because it involves faith.'

According to the Guardian's theatre critic Michael Billington, the play 'is saying something about the yearning for faith in a godless age…  and about the links between the spirit and the-all-too fallible flesh'.