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Thursday 23 November 2023

Vision: An Imagined Testimony Of The Extraordinary Medieval Abbess Hildegard of Bingen Comes To St Anne's Church In Lewes

Leading actor of stage and screen Teresa Banham (Royal Shakespeare Company) is set to join the  music and theatre company The Telling at St Anne's Church, Lewes, on Sunday 26th November with Vision, by acclaimed playwright/singer Clare Norburn and BAFTA-nominated director Nicholas Renton (Mrs Gaskells" Wives & Daughters, Lewis, Musketeers).
Credit: Robert Piwko

Vision is an imagined testimony of the extraordinary medieval abbess, Hildegard of Bingen. 

The show aims to give an insight into the painful and visceral visionary experiences Hildegard suffered throughout her life, covering some of the core emotional moments. 

She re-experiences meaningful episodes from her past, alongside her haunting and distinctive chant performed live by two singers and a harpist.

Playwright and singer Clare Norburn explains: 

"While the script is grounded in research into Hildegard's life, I was actually more interested in exploring how she experienced those moments than in giving a detailed historical account. 

"So, Vision is 'an imagined testimony' as Hildegard revisits and re-experiences meaningful episodes from her past. 

"It explores questions such as: what did it feel like to be taken away from her family at the age of 8?  

"How did she experience the visions which she referred to as 'the Living Light'?  

"What was the physical experience of her visions?  What did it feel to have so much responsibility in an age when women were generally powerless and silent?"

Hildegard did so many extraordinary things in the 12th century. She is well-known around the world for her work and devotion to God

She has interesting parallels with an anchoress who lived at St Anne's Church the following century. 

Not much is known about her, but she would have withdrawn on life to focus on God, and lived in cell built into the walls of St Anne's Church which was recovered during building work in the 1920s. Therefore, it seems apt for St Anne's Church to host Vision. 

An Arthouse Film adaption of Vision was released in 2020 in response to lockdown restrictions and tour cancellations. 

The Telling comes to St Anne's Church on Lewes High Street, on Sunday 26th November 2023. CLICK HERE for tickets,

by: Mike Cobley

Related links

The Telling Tickets Vision


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