The Bible in Voice and Verse
With Christianity being asked to be more and more ‘relevant’ in the 21st century, it was striking to see an event which celebrated the 400th anniversary of one of the oldest translations of the Bible, the King James’s Version (KJV).
Armed with just this translation, some classical songs heavily influenced by it and some images, Christian actor Lance Pierson, soprano Belinda Yates and keyboardist Heather Chamberlain have come together and are bringing the KJV ‘to life’ through a number of performances throughout the UK.
I was at the launch at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity on February 3. First off, for someone who was brought up on a cocktail of the Youth Bible, the NIV and, latterly, the ESV, I found the performance of this much older version surprisingly and refreshingly easy to engage with. This isn’t to say that Pierson and Co. tinkered with the original text, jazzing it up. The entire performance was faithful to the original from start to finish. The whole story of the Bible was also loyally represented. The show proved that Christian arts events can be both entertaining and informative while being faithful to the original text.
As far as the actual performance was concerned, I felt it was a professional effort throughout. Pierson was able to both be both slightly comedic, somewhat of a novelty, when orating the creation of the world, for example, and engagingly sombre, his narration of the crucifixion being a prime instance of this. Yates, like Pierson, appeared very professional and in tune (something essential in singing, I’m told) and, helpfully for operatic novices such as myself, the words she was singing were displayed in bright white type on a projector at the same time.
This performance is definitely something I’d recommend. Clearly, the cast know how to put their orating and singing gifts to good use.
For further information and details about their itinerary: http://www.invoiceandverse.co.uk or 020 7731 6544.