The Narrow Road Virtual Tour Part 1

 
We start with a post from the director, Erin Burbridge:

Even after directing the 2019 version, this production felt completely different. I was delighted to discover much more about each scene and character, working with four actors who were very generous with their ideas.  They also nodded patiently and went along gracefully with each bizarre metaphor I used to inspire their performances or just to create sense of ‘play’ in the rehearsal room. We had fun.

What’s the story?

The Road is a journey through contemporary Israel/Palestine made by three pilgrims who encounter some of the events of the life of Jesus as they reach the places where these took place. The road is the journey through the varied landscapes of the Holy Land but it is also the person of Jesus himself, as he lives out and marks out the road which he calls his disciples to walk with him, both then and now.

The journey tracks right back to a pregnant mother under the stars on the road to Bethlehem.  It winds its way on towards Jesus’s encounters with individuals from different walks of life, to ministry alongside his disciples in Galilee, to Gethsemane, his trial before Pilate, to the crucifixion. Finally the play ends on the road to Emmaus.

Though we know nothing about their faith or background, the three pilgrims are engaging figures.  We see them interact viscerally with the landscape around them and with the intense events into which they are plunged. They represent us, the audience, trying to make sense of this journey.  I loved working with Miriam, John and Johnny as they morphed seamlessly from one person to another.

Your favourite part of the play?

Lots of bits obviously – but Miriam and Simon’s playing of the scene between Jesus and the Samaritan woman who comes alone in the heat of the day to Jacob’s well, often had me fighting back a few tears. The scene begins in a tense atmosphere – the woman is shocked by this unprecedented approach from a Jewish rabbi making conversation with her. Despite her sharp, nervous responses, Jesus’s offer to her of living water remains clear and uncompromising. As the scene concludes, when she realises who she’s talking to, the sense of release, of jubilation was infectious. It swept me up every time!

SANA           You have nothing to draw water with.

SHE RELENTS AND GIVES HIM A DRINK

JESUS         I have you. (He drinks) Thank you. It is good water. Sweet. But anyone who drinks this will be thirsty again. Yet, whoever I give water to, Samaritan or Jew, will not thirst again because my water becomes a spring, becomes a well, becomes life itself. Eternal life in a dying place.

SANA           Sir…give me this water. Please, I…I don’t want to come back.

                   …..

                   You are a prophet! My people worshipped on this mountain. I am forbidden to go to the Temple. Jerusalem. I cannot follow you there!

JESUS         A time is coming when true worshippers will worship in a place called ‘spirit and truth’. This temple has no walls.  This is what God wants.  This is the road he offers.

SANA           I know the Messiah is coming. To make this happen.

JESUS         You have faith. Salvation. The world will be changed.

SANA           You told me everything I ever did. Tell me when he is coming.

JESUS         Here. Now. Speaking honestly with you.

© 2010 Paul Birch

 

What did you learn in this process?

One thing that was very profound for me was exploring the humanity of Jesus alongside his divinity as Son of God. The play introduces Jesus in the temple as a thirteen year-old boy, taking two elders to task on a technicality of the Law about resurrection. It’s a funny, warm and engaging scene – a brilliant way to introduce us to Jesus at an age when he is still wide-eyed and youthful. Simon’s fantastic portrayal of this moment produced more laughter than we were expecting at our only performance!

 

What made you laugh the most during rehearsals?

All four actors have a passion for tea that I just don’t share.  I’ll drink tea if I’m cold.  The extraordinary excitement on everyone’s faces when tea was mentioned… by the Jordan, on the sea of Galilee, in Capernaum, or wherever… gave me some good giggles.

Easter Resources for use at home

All’s Well That Ends Well- Production Pictures

All’s Well has begun and the production has been delighting audiences with its wit and hilarity. The production pictures, courtesy of Tom Jackson, are too beautiful not to share with you. Here are some of our favourites:

 

Easter Resources for 2019

Add Drama to Easter is a delightful follow-on from our successful Christmas resource, Add Drama to Christmas (do you sense a theme?)! This new downloadable resource has ten classic Riding Lights sketches which spotlight significant personal encounters with the world-turned-upside-down story of Easter… encounters with Jesus that were life-changing.

These sketches have different styles and energy – they are moving, punchy, sometimes humorous and give a few unexpected perspectives on the familiar gospel events…

A tax-collector dishes out generous rebates, the owner of the Palm Sunday donkey feels somehow complicit in Jesus’s death, Barabbas watches a man die on a cross that was made for him, a thief finds the doors to Paradise unlocked, a private investigator is challenged to locate a missing corpse, daffodils discuss the likelihood of life after death…

All these pieces are tried, tested and easy to stage with a few enthusiastic actors and readers. Some have appeared in print before and have been updated, others are released here for the first time.


Keep watching for more collections of sketches to be made available in the coming months.

Get our Easter resources from the shop…

Summer Theatre School 2019 Book Now

Youth Theatre: Spring Applications Open

After a brilliant production of Murder By Poe from our Senior Youth Theatre, we’re delighted to say that Applications are now open for next term’s Youth Theatre.

The really exciting news, is that Acting Up! are expanding – in size and ambition!

This term, as well as welcoming new members, they will be trialling a new format. The first hour of each session will focus on our younger members as they learn new theatre skills through fun games, improvisation and exercises, discovering how to be an acting ensemble. The last hour will focus on the older age group as they take these same skills deeper and explore writing and devising new work… And there will be plenty of opportunities for joint-creativity, socialising and sharing work between these two sessions as all ages join together.

Our Seniors will be taking inspiration from great writers such as Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan-Doyle, and Douglas Adams as they devise and stage their very own Murder Mystery.

Meanwhile Juniors have a production term and will be staging a fantastic
adaptation of Oscar’s Wilde’s The Star-Child. (Performance dates are 4th and 5th of April 2019 – get them in the diary!)

You can find our more information on the Youth Theatre section of the website and apply online here.

Christmas Resources for 2018

Want to get a bit of Christmas preparation crossed off the ‘to do’ list? We’ve got just the thing with our newly available selection of Christmas scripts for 2018.

These are nine classic Riding Lights sketches, plus three carol service templates, highlighting the Christmas story from various angles. They’re humorous, punchy and give a few unexpected perspectives on the familiar gospel events.

…What were Joseph’s feelings about Mary’s pregnancy? The Son of God escapes to Egypt as a refugee. A remarkable birth draws people of faith from other cultures. A Bethlehem innkeeper with a night to remember. Herald and guardian angels in overdrive…

All these pieces are tried, tested and easy to stage with a few enthusiastic actors and readers. What’s more, included with the download is the licence to perform each of the pieces.

Get our Christmas resources from the shop…

Gospel Street: Tour Dates

Good News! We are excited to announce our performance dates for the tour of GOSPEL STREET this autumn.

It’s our second year touring this phenomenal show, and this time round the tour is even bigger with just under 40 performances between the 27th September and the 24th November. There are familiar venues and new ones, and we’re even getting over to Northern Ireland, following in the footsteps of this year’s Roughshod company.

We’re delighted to be back on the road, taking the dynamic and accessible version of the Gospel to communities round the UK. Using theatre, comedy and spoken word this is a breath-taking ride through all the important issues of life, death… and miraculous street food. All asking “what would you do if Jesus turned up on your street?”.

Want to find your nearest show? Just take a look at the map below…

Tour Dates

 

Date Venue  Tickets  Book Online
Thursday 22 November (7.30pm) Ray Presbyterian Church
Donations welcome
Box Office: 074915 7716
Please contact the venue for tickets
Friday 23 November (7.30pm) Holywood Baptist Church
N. Ireland, 
Donations welcome
Box Office: 028 9042 1519
Please contact the venue for tickets

Roughshod On The Road: Newcastle and Summer School

Our final base of the tour was going back to St. Luke’s and Junction 42 in Newcastle upon Tyne.

It was fantastic to catch up with so many of the friends we’d made back in March, and tell them some of the stories of what we’d gotten up to on tour. We worked in Churches, Schools, Prisons, Young Offenders Institutions, and Community Projects, meeting people from all across the Newcastle area and it was such a joy for us to see all the ways that God is moving in the North East.

After Newcastle we headed back to York to get ready for Summer School. We all had a different course to stage manage and lots of little performances and jobs to do so it was a very busy week! But it was lovely to spend time with the Summer School community, and we had so much fun getting to know and work with them all. Our last stop on tour was Scargill Retreat Centre which was a wonderful, friendly audience for our final show.

And then… we were done and the whirlwind of tour was over. All of us are now heading our separate ways to find out what God has planned for us next.

Roughshod has been an awesome adventure and non of it would have happened without the amazing generosity of every community and church which has hosted us over the past seven months. So it seems only right to sign off with a massive thank you to all of them, and to all of you, for the brilliant support you’ve given Roughshod 2018.

Esther

Roughshod on the Road: Reigate

After three weeks of mini-tour, myself and the rest of Roughshod were excited to get back, and get stuck into the life and work of a local community. And we couldn’t have been happier than to partner with the one and only Charles Merritt (former two times shoddie from Roughshod 2015 and 2016) and the team at St Mary’s Reigate.  Here he is recreating the Sisteen Chapel with Jared. (No, we’ve no idea why either.)

Upon arrival, it was brilliant to meet the wonderful community at St Mary’s. We had the pleasure of delivering our workshop ‘Peace in Our Time’ to a number of their youth groups, and we were hugely challenged by the passion the young people had for justice in their communities, and were encouraged by the words of one recently baptised teenager, who said that the workshop gave her an insight into what her faith could look like in day to day life.

This encouragement from the St Mary’s Youth groups was only built up further, by the audience’s of Year 7’s and Year 8’s in two of the local schools. Their interaction with the Q&As after our performances was hugely insightful, and particularly how moved they were by ‘Trafficked’ – our verbatim piece exploring the lives of survivors of human trafficking – was particularly touching.

Finally, we had the chance to enjoy the incredible sunshine (not something you often get to say in the UK), perform ‘Deliver’ at two packed churches on the Friday and Saturday, before rounding our week off with a Sunday morning service (featuring ‘The Dan Rap’).

Andrew