Transcendence: from sin into light


Rye has a rich history of welcoming the extraordinary to live here. Gorgeous buildings. Creative genius. Artists of writing and arts and nature. It is a fitting home, therefore, for the artistic genius that is Alex Macarthur. Alex is well known in the interior design world. Now, Alex has focused on bringing the ruin of the Monastery back to life. Finally, after decades of decay, its roof is fixed, hidden arches and windows and light have been uncovered and it is filled with space and spiritual grandeur.

Transcendence will be performed over Easter weekend from April 7 to April 10 and April 28-30. Performed here in the Monastery in 2019, Rye News described it as “absorbing and compulsive and with riveting performances”. It is sensory dance theatre, based on the biblical, Oscar Wilde tragedy that is Salome. An interpretation of John the Baptist’s demise set within King Herod’s palace, it was banned from being performed in England because it included biblical characters. When it was performed for the first time in Paris in 1892, Wilde was unable to see it- he was in prison for being a homosexual. It would be another 40 years before Salome could be performed on English soil. Brought into the modern age, and set within the extraordinary space of the Monastery, it will be an unforgettable, challenging experience. And, of course, perhaps uncomfortably, controversial. 

Edifice, the performance group, describe it as “an immersive sensorial dance experience unlike anything else” as you are literally, physically, led through richly decorated scenes of performance and you climb upwards through the rooms of Herod’s Palace. I asked someone who saw the performance four years ago for her reaction: “I think it’s the most impressive, boundary-breaking live art I have ever experienced. It charts new frontiers for Rye.”

For tickets, use this website:

Image Credits: Edifice Productions .

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