6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Theatre review - One Flesh; The Kings Arms, Salford

PUBLISHED: 13:41 02 March 2016 | UPDATED: 13:41 02 March 2016

One Flesh

One Flesh

Archant

Playwright Naomi Sumner directs her own work for the first time as she tackles two risqué subjects in religion and gay marriage combining the two in this new, hard-hitting, controversial play.

Despite the divisive theme in this new play, we are led gently into the storyline on arrival as the cast members play musical instruments and all sing songs of religious topics to ease us on this particular journey. A journey that we know will take many twists and turns along the way.

The group consists of three couples all at different stages of relationships. Caleb is happily married to Leah. They have two children together. He is the vicar of their local church and loves nothing more than to abide by Gods words and to lead those around him. His sister, Esther, is in love with Natalie, a relationship frowned upon by her brother and sister-in-law. Meanwhile, Dan and Hannah are preparing for their wedding and have the assistance of Caleb and Leah in the preparations as Dan bids to do God’s work and he aims to work his way up through the church. Life is relatively simple for all three couples until Esther announces to her brother that she plans to marry Natalie and would love nothing more than for her brother to, not only accept the marriage, but to give her away. This is an act that, by the bible, is not accepted and Caleb must choose between his family and his God as dedication to the bible becomes fraught when sin invites itself into their lives and their beliefs are put to the test.

Since same sex marriage was legalised in 2014 it has divided the opinions of the church. To write a play with both these themes involved, but also bring in the question of faith is a brave and bold move by writer/director Naomi Sumner, but one justified by the content and quality of the piece. The beauty of Sumner’s work is not only the astute nature of the depth of her writing, but in the way the story is played out. She has taken six pieces of string, for want of a better an analogy, taken those pieces of string and tied them in several knots as the complexities of the situations begin to show through. Her sheer determination to promote opinion questions religion in general and contradicts the word of the God as two people are in love and want to unite that love as the same bond that all other Christians have, despite that bond being with someone of the same sex. It is a message of love and devotion, but questioning which is the stronger – the love of a partner or the love of a God who can sometimes not hear our problems - forcing our hands into dangerous actions.

The ensemble responsible for bringing this wonderful script to life were quite honestly one of the best I have seen. Any performance that can render you motionless as you become transfixed and captivated by performances deserve the highest accolades. Any performance that momentarily make you forget you are watching a play and immerse you into the storyline are those of the highest calibre and this collaboration did just that. Seth Daniels portrayed the role of Caleb, a character torn between those he loves and forced to choose between the three in an expertly performed role. His wife, Leah, was played by Rachel Creamer who gave us a wonderfully strong performance of a wife and mother torn apart by her husband’s choices. Victoria Tunnah played Esther in a mesmerising enactment of the vulnerable young girl wanting to do right by her God and her brother, but is torn between the love of Natalie, played with warmth and grace by Fiona Organ. The wonderfully gifted Barney Cooper played Dan whose plans to marry Hannah go awry when faced with choice. Lucy Hird played the Hannah in question in a solid, emotional performance.

All of the actors in question displayed a multitude of talent, not only in their acting, but in their abilities to sing and play musical instruments as well offering a different angle on traditional plays.

Mike Heath’s assistance was evident in the technical aspects of the show with his invaluable input as Co-producer allowing the flow of the play to transfer between scenes with ease and with the added ambience of topical and modern Christian songs encapsulating the mood of the piece.

Credit must go to Naomi Sumner and the wonderful cast for risking the controversy of the theme, but for standing up for what they believe and to show how love does conquer all.

The play continues on March 2nd and 3rd at the Nexus Arts Café in Dale Street, Manchester with the final performance on March 5th at the Quaker Meeting House in Liverpool.

For further information, please visit the website – www.onefleshtheplay.eventbrite.co.uk

www.robgemmell.co.uk
@robgemmell1

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Lancashire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Lancashire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Lancashire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

00:00

Hearty breakfasts and delicious dinners are just two reasons for walking in this stunning area, as John Lenehan discovers

Read more
Bowland Walks
00:00

There are few finer thing than exploring the countryside surrounding the many rivers situated across the county.

Read more
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Victoria Smith always loved horses but her high pressure job meant she had little time to ride – until she met a deer in the Forest of Bowland

Read more
Equestrian
Monday, May 14, 2018

Developments underway and planned around the city are celebrating its proud heritage and building for the future

Read more
Preston
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

For almost 25 years, outdoor writers and photographers Dennis and Jan Kelsall have produced guides and articles covering many of the country’s popular walking destinations. Here, Dennis picks five of his favourites.

Read more
Lancaster
Friday, May 4, 2018

Ramsbottom is well known for its food and drink scene, but Rebekka O’Grady meets some arty residents that will inspire your creative side.

Read more
Ramsbottom
Thursday, May 3, 2018

A devastating riding accident may have saved Katherine Beaumont from a life of anxiety and stress. Now she is sharing her experience.

Read more
Equestrian

A unique community musical in Wigan is taking one of George Orwell’s most famous works from the page to the stage and making a song and dance about social inequality.

Read more
Wigan

When photographer Emma Campbell fell in love with Lakeland’s fell ponies she decided to raise their profile with a special project.

Read more
Equestrian photography
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Our walking guide John Lenehan takes us on a towpath where you can see one of Lancashire’s great engineering feats.

Read more
Canals Chorley
Monday, April 9, 2018

A selection of walks in and around Bowland for outdoor types who like to end their hike on a high note – with some great food and drink.

Read more
Monday, April 9, 2018

From specialist soap to awarding winning ale, Staveley is proving to be a magnet for small businesses and visitors

Read more
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The joy of spotting owls is described by The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright who tells us where to find them and how to identify these elusive creatures.

Read more
Monday, April 2, 2018

It stretches the length of the Liverpool suburb, and over the years has hosted many shops and businesses. Rebekka O’Grady chats to those who currently call it home

Read more
Liverpool
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search