Saturday, 28 September 2013

Cluedo to Christianity and Soldier to Saint - Re-imaging St Alban for today

Cluedo to Christianity!
“Soldier to Saint”, the story of St. Alban recreated for a future when religion has been banned in this country, gripped an audience of about 120 people in Nativity of the Lord new parish centre in Redhill. It opens in a cafe; Thomas, the priest on the run, meets John Alban a soldier, whom he recognises from Television. John had been present with an award for being a hero. It transpires through his flashbacks he is badly affected by his war experience. He has no time for religion. The pair fall in to conversation, but when his phone rings Thomas leaves in a hurry, but manages to leave his cross behind. As the play unfolds T.V. news updates report on numbers of Christians hunted down, secret churches discovered, and the bishop captured, each time ending with “Be Vigilant”.

Escaping pursuers Thomas takes refuge in John’s flat; whilst playing Cluedo and they gradually discuss Christianity; John’s hostility subsides and he is baptised. Relieving the tension, there are amusing moments – Thomas declares he was Seminarians national gaming champion two years running! John pretends he is the priest, and it was chilling to see him awaiting execution with black bag over his head, executioner behind pointing a pistol at him. On his knees he shouts JESUS as the shot rings out.

Rise Theatre Company, came to Redhill, for the penultimate performance of their tour of the South East. This play was written by Charley Pinfold, who also played many of the roles, including newsreader, policewoman, and judge, and was directed by Stephen Newbury , as former parishioner. The third member of the cast was John Bosco. When applause died down we were led in a short period of reflection based on a quote from St. Catherine of Sienna “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire”.

Thanks for text and photo to Ann Lardeur

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