21
Jun
12

a theatre review

Lazarus Lost & Found Promotional FlyerIn February 2009, I went to the Questors Studio Theatre in Ealing (West London) to see a play called Lazarus Lost & Found. It was written by Chris Dicken, a friend of my father’s who’s a web designer by day and a playwright in his spare time. Coincidentally, I happened to know one of the editors on the local Ealing Gazette – so I asked him if he might be interested in a freelance review of the play. He said yes… and I ended up writing two pieces for the Gazette’s arts pages.

The first was a preview article, promoting the play and giving the story some background (which didn’t get published but is pasted below). The second piece was a review of the play, which did get published and can be read in the clipping at the end of this post. Ignore the – distressingly larger – feature about that annoying Scouse mystic from Most Haunted. My review is the bit underneath!

“FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE TO THE EALING STAGE” By Russell Norris

What would you do if you had it on good authority that a dead man would shortly come back to life? Laugh outright? Take offence? Or wait nervously to see what happens? Back in 2004, the remote farming community of Hertzogville in South Africa found itself facing this ghoulish question. When a family prophet predicted that a local man, recently deceased, would rise again, rumours began to spread like rampant bushfire. Before long, a crowd of townsfolk had descended on the village funeral home, desperate for a glimpse of the promised resurrection.

This true story was the inspiration for Lazarus Lost & Found, a new play written by Chris Dicken premiering at the Questors Studio Theatre on February 10th. Set in contemporary London, Dicken’s black comedy takes a hard look at our secular culture and asks if such a prophecy could ever cause a similar furore on home soil. “British people are always portrayed as cynics, suspicious of anyone promising miracles,” says Chris. “But I think, if we’re all honest, we’d love to see living proof that there’s something more to life.”

Martha, the show’s heroine, isn’t coping well with the loss of her father. As the funeral arrangements draw near, an inexplicable message arrives from a famous religious leader, proclaiming that her father will soon return from the dead. The fallout from this incredible prediction – and Martha’s blind faith in it – has tough repercussions that friends, family and the local neighbourhood won’t forget in a hurry.

The true case of the Hertzogville prophecy ended less spectacularly than it began; the dead man remained dead, was sent to the mortuary and quietly buried a few days later. But will the departed rise again to walk among us at the Questors Theatre? Get your ticket for Lazarus Lost & Found to find out…

[Click the image below to see my review at full-size.]

Lazarus Lost & Found Theatre Review

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