The RISE Theatre actors have been touring the country, and news of how imaginative, inspiring and thought-provoking their latest play is reached London before they did. I was intrigued and looking forward to the performance with great expectation; and the show didn’t disappoint! St Aloysius church was transformed as the team spent Tuesday afternoon setting up; and, when the audience began to arrive, the anticipation and excitement in the air became tangible. At 7.30pm the lighting dimmed, the audience settled, and the play began.
Stephen Newbury plays the part of Tom – a disillusioned, unemployed artist – alongside Hannah Parker who adopts the role of Jenny – a workaholic who just can’t seem to step off the treadmill of her busy life. We are invited into the lives of these two polar-opposite individuals, and journey with them as they embark on a life-changing journey of self-discovery, accompanied by the mysterious White Rabbit, who is played by the talented John Bosco. Writer of the show, Charley Pinfold, cleverly entwines fantasy with reality, leaving you deep in thought with lots of questions bubbling to the surface. As well as writing the play, Charley transitioned between playing live music and taking to the stage donning different outfits and characters, managing to successfully convince me that there had to be more than just four people to the cast!
This really isn’t your ordinary play. I found myself on the edge of my seat, laughing aloud and tearing up at different moments throughout the performance. I felt like I was rediscovering with them what it means to live as a child again. There were certain scenes that really resonated with me as they seemed to accurately reflect aspects of my own life, faith and relationship with God.
I came away feeling invigorated, hopeful and joyful. It was as if something within me had been affirmed. I’d elaborate and explain but I’ve tried really hard not to put in any spoilers here, so you’re just going to have to go along and see this show for yourself to understand what I’m getting at! Believe me when I say it’s well worth it.
The play ended to loud applause and the actors milled about, chatting to the audience and seeing them off afterwards. It was then pack-up time and I was amazed by just how much they managed to cram into their little van! They were heading off to Middlesbrough today for their next event and our prayers go with them.
A talented team of people, a great show and a wonderful evening.