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"I am Mark" event

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On Wednesday 5th October Christians Together in Milford on Sea and Everton organised an event called "I AM MARK" at the Village Community Centre. It is the story of the Gospel of Mark presented as a solo word-for-word dramatization.

The performer was Stefan Smart, a former school teacher cum professional actor, who specialises in telling stories from the Bible, in particular the stories of Jesus. He has taken I AM MARK, his solo word for word dramatisation of Mark's Gospel, around the world to wide acclaim, and has recently returned from his second run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

I AM MARK is an attempt to recreate for a modern audience what it must have been like for the first hearers of this story, some 30 or 40 years after the events described. In a largely oral culture, where there were few books to speak of, people who were interested in hearing this story, would have been used to listening to a single narrator, not just reciting, but enacting the text as a full bodied drama, with all the characters and situations brought startlingly to life.

A near capacity audience were taken through the Gospel story. From the preaching of John the Baptist, the miracles that Jesus performed through the Last Supper, his resurrection and ending on Easter Day when the women go to the tomb and find it empty. Stefan's dramatic performance using virtually no props other than a wooden chair that fulfilled multiple functions was both entertaining and thought-provoking.

At the conclusion of the performance Stefan held a short Question and Answer session including explaining his reason why he chose the Gospel of Mark (it is the shortest) to sharing some of the reactions that his show has encountered, including when he took it to Hyde Park Corner.

Those who attended the evening found it to be an enlightening and moving experience. Mark makes it very clear from the outset that what he is really about is enabling us to form an opinion about who Jesus is and why he came. So, people were offered a free copy of the Gospel of Mark to take away with them to read again at their leisure and maybe to consider some aspects of the story in a different way after seeing this performance.

Christians Together in Milford on Sea and Everton is a group made up of representatives from the four churches in the village plus St Mary's in Everton and are responsible for organising many of the ecumenical events that take place here.

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