We had another fantastic day with 4FrontTheatre yesterday at Lacewood Primary School and Carrfield Primary School in Bolton-on-Dearne. Our thanks to both schools for allowing us to bring this show to about 600 local primary school children.
‘Fisherman’s Tail’ tells the story of Simon, Andrew, James and John, ordinary fishermen working on the Sea of Galilee whose lives are transformed by Jesus: They are used to fishermen’s tall tales, but the tale of how Jesus transforms their lives is no tall story!
The scene is set with a rousing song introduction and then the four fishermen have a competition to see who can catch a ‘netbreaker’:
They catch nothing until Jesus comes along, and then they catch more than they had anticipated!
Jesus calls them to become ‘fishers of men’ and their adventures with him transform them. In the musical, Jesus is represented by the life ring (powerful symbolism reminding us of Jesus’ mission to save and rescue us.)
They sing an amazing song describing the parables, miracles, deliverance ministry and teaching of Jesus and also describe the times that Jesus stilled the storm and walked on water:
They go on to describe Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and the opposition from religious leaders which led to His crucifixion. Peter’s denial is dealt with powerfully, as is the whole crucifixion scene. Peter sings mournfully about Jesus’s death as a martyr, ending with the plaintive question, ‘But what about us?’
The heavy emotion of the crucifixion soon turns to light-hearted comedy with the scenes describing the resurrection as told by Mary’s encounter with two angels. Having men play a woman is a standard pantomime feature, and the audience enjoyed voting for which of the four disciples would play Jesus (for the record, James and John, burly men with beards, performed this role twice, with Simon Peter, a lanky 6’4″ lad, having the last go!) These scenes were among the funniest in the show, with the angels’ song reflecting on the standard response of shock and awe when meeting angels (‘the aura divine’) and on Mary’s tears and joy as she meets Jesus.
The show goes on to describe various post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to the disciples (including to Thomas and, inevitably, the fishing scene described in John 21 and the restitution of Peter).
As they reach the end (‘tail’) of the tale, all four disciples reaffirm their love for Jesus and remind us that Jesus is sitll calling followers who will love him today.