An original music-theatre piece created by Pamela Howard (author/director) with Rod Paton (Composer/Singer) and band for WEMSFEST. Based on the book “The Ways of Yesterday” by A.M.W.Stirling, (Butterworth 1930).
The New Jerusalem - A Sussex Story tells the incredible story of Rev. Lewis Way, who, in 1804, at the dawn of the New Century inherited by ‘Divine Providence’ £30,000 with the proviso it be used for philanthropic purposes.
His first act was to purchase Stansted House in Sussex. There he set about his life’s work - to save the entire Jewish Race by converting them to Christianity, and repatriating them to Palestine, which, he proposed would then become a Christian country. He imagined Stansted would thus become the Hebrew College where Jews would be re-educated, and travelled the world aiming to persuade the Crowned Heads of Europe to join his ‘Holy Mission’.
It is a true, fascinating and naive story that ultimately did not succeed. However, the chapel at Stansted Park that Lewis Way created for his purposes is testimony to the general optimism that prevailed amongst poets, artists, writers and musicians at a time when they were aware that whole world was changing. The New Jerusalem was performed in a traverse staging in the 18th Century Paviilion Tea Rooms in Stansted Park by kind permission of the Stansted Foundation.
Sc1 The New Jerusalem
James Kirby as Rev. Lewis Way and band.
Rod Paton (Composer/Singer/MD) as John the Gardener of Stansted House
Suzie Wilde as Lady Ponsonby
Sarah Martin as Vera, Lady Ponsonby's Secretary
Tony Clark as Benjamin Nehemiah Solomon - a convert
Sarah Martin as The Maid at Stansted House
Chris Nairne as Sultan Kategarry
Ryan Moss as young Albert Way
Tony Clark, Barry Jarvis and Jason Evans as the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sarah Martin as Princess Augusta.
Barry Jarvis as King George IV
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Scenes from The New Jerusalem
Please click image to enlarge.
Sc 1 The Clapham Sect: An Evangelistic meeting: Present Day.
Sc 2 A La Ronde: Devon: Miss Jane Parminter's funeral.
Sc 3 The Park at Stansted : Late afternoon : Lewis Way explains his plans to his wife Mary.
Pastorale Interlude 1: John the gardener sings of changing times (Wordsworth Ode. Intimations of Mortality v.1).
Sc 3B London Lady Ponsonby's residence in Belgravia (Chair Of Hackney Society's Lady's Guild).
Sc 4: Stansted House and Park at night: a fancy dress party on a biblical theme (Some time later).
Sc 5 Stansted House: Early next morning.
Pastorale Interlude 2: John the gardener is collecting wheels to make a suitable coach for Lewis Way's travels. He sing The Jolly Waggoner: (Songs of social change 1770-1914).
Sc 6 The Port at Colchester Quay Essex: The farewell. Lewis Way leaves for Moscow with John, Sultan Kateggary and Charles Mabberly.
Sc 7 Stansted House early evening sometime later. Drusilla and Albert are playing with a model of Lewis Way's coach and laughing at the riddles he has sent them.
Pastorale Interlude 3: John enters with a map looking for the way. (sings: The Road "A Touch on the Times").
Sc 8 Moscow The Kremlin and Spitalfields London. A meeting of the Holy Alliance (Russia/Prussia/Austria) A letter arrives from Lewis Way announcing his arrival. London - Spitalfields: A sad group of British Jews discuss their fate and the Jew Bill.
Sc 9 Moscow The Kremlin later that evening . Lewis Way and Tsar Alexander meet.
Sc 10 Stansted Park Sussex. The celebration of Rev and Mrs Way's wedding anniversary led by William Wilberforce in Rev Way's absence.
Sc 11 Carlton House London: The Bishop of St. David's presents a petition to King George 1V on behalf of Lewis Way requesting a Royal Charter for the Hebrew College at Stansted - and is refused.
Pastorale Interlude 4 John is walking with all the luggage to the nearest port. The coach is broken.
He sings 'So we'll no more go a-roving' (adapted from Lord Byron).
Sc 12 Paris and England: The reality . Lewis Way realises he will not be able to achieve his mission himself. Joseph Woolf, now a vicar in Yorkshire sends him a letter. The ghosts of Miss Jane and Miss Mary Parminter re-appear. The truth of Miss Jane's will is revealed.
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