Fr Ryan Service, assistant priest at Holy Trinity, Sutton Coldfield, will be taking to the boards next month (June) as part of a Research in Action workshop.
'Staging Mass in Early Modern Drama' will be performed at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Globe Theatre, London, and explores how early modern playwrights navigated Reformation England’s relationship with Catholicism.
Dr Gašper Jakovac (University College London) is leading the workshop on Wednesday 12 June.
Fr Ryan will play the role of priest in the texts that are being explored and explains how his starring role came about:
"A few months ago, I was approached by the researcher, Gašper, who is working on this project looking at early modern drama and the role of Catholicism at that time.
"Gašper's interests eventually led him to the archive at the English College, Rome, which was the seminary where I studied.
"Being involved in this workshop is very exciting as it revives a love for theatre from local amateur drama groups in Kingstanding and Aldridge before I read English at Warwick. 
"Holy Trinity parish in Sutton Coldfield, curiously, also has its own link to drama as the Trinity Players was essentially formed out of the parish with congregation members. 
"There is a long tradition in this country of Catholicism and theatre, perhaps it is something rarely acknowledged. 
"Gašper wanted there to be a real priest in the play rather than someone playing the role because seminarians and priests used to perform in drama and would have probably acted in the original play, too.  
"Luckily, I haven't got to learn any lines for the day because I'll be part of a group of actors who will have the texts in our hands as we try different ways of performing select scenes. It's very much a workshop approach and it will involve audience participation and direction!"

Alongside examples from commercial playhouses, the workshop will consider a unique Catholic drama from early seventeenth-century Shropshire: The History of Purgatory. This forgotten text provides us with privileged access to the hopes, anxieties and steadfast belief of the Catholic community living under penal laws.
Seated tickets are £12.
More information and book 

Photograph: Fr Ryan Service at his ordination, 2019.