Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Great Man! Rubbish Tribute!

Yesterday I found out that Rob Lacey died. For some reason this had a real effect on me. I can't say why or even what kind of an effect it had (if that makes any sense at all) but I just found myself thinking about it the whole day. I never knew or met him and apart from a couple of times at ROOTS I never even saw him perform. So why do I feel such a great sense of loss at his death?

I think that it's probably a professional thing. As a dramatist I often despair at the very thought of Christian drama. It's not good. I often think that as Christians we should have the monopoly on art (art reflects beauty, Christians should know more about beauty than anyone else etc etc - I could go on like this for hours (and often have done) so I'll stop myself now before it's too late). Christian drama should be the best kind of drama there is but instead it is often sub-par at best and shockingly awful at worst.

They are a few Christian artists, however, who do us proud. The theatre of Riding Lights and Rhema have been a great inspiration to me over the years. The poems, writings and sketches of Adrian Plass have been a source of aspiration since I was 10. And within all that I think I have always esteemed Rob Lacey as being one of the best writer/performers we have.

Unfortunately though, I can't even substantiate that last statement with very much as I'm basing it almost entirely on the very little of his work that I have read or seen him perform and the rest is probably on reputation. But based on the work that I did see, hear, read or perform (I performed one of his poems for a friend's final practical project while I was at Central), Rob Lacey did genuinely become somewhat of a hero of mine. His performance was passionate and his writing stood up to secular scrutiny. And I don't think we have anyone else who does what he did nearly as well as he did it.

When I think about the sort of person I'd like to be and how I'd like to be used and the sort of things I'd like to be known for, I would often look at Rob Lacey and think "yeah - something like that". And if I'm entirely honest, I had hoped to one day get to a point in my career where I would have had the opportunity to meet the man and maybe even work with him. And even if not (coz let's face it - not all that likely) then just the hope to have seen more of him and more of his work will be something that I will miss.

So maybe that's the reason for my sense of loss. But I also thank God for his career, his legacy and for giving the rest of us struggling theatre types something to live up to. May the Christian drama world be better off for his contribution.


Ben said...

I feel you mate, and I agree with the impact he has had on the arts for the church. What a legacy he leaves.

mike said...

Not a rubbish tribute in the slightest.
I'm not even one of you drama type but after reading your tribute i feel saddened by the loss.
He was a great man and contributed so much to lives.
I've never reaaly thought about what I learnt from him until now.
Thank you Glyn.
Thank you Rob