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BELIEVE

PUBLISHED: 11:12 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 22 July 2010

Matthew Hurt s exploration of how battle and war affects not only the combatants, but more importantly non-combatants – especially women – is deftly told in his one-hour show Believe, performed at the New End Theatre.

New End Theatre, New End, NW3

Matthew Hurt's exploration of how battle and war affects not only the combatants, but more importantly non-combatants - especially women - is deftly told in his one-hour show Believe, performed at the New End Theatre.

Taking the Old Testament as his inspiration for the drama, Hurt uses four female biblical figures as the vehicles for his exploration of the effects conflict has on the fairer sex.

Rahab, living a precarious life in a besieged city somewhere, is a seasoned prostitute, introduced to the profession by the loss of her virginity at the age of 10 by her uncle.

Graphic details of her deflowering and the continual sexual servitude she endures with the constant queues of men demanding her services quickly become the norm until, one day, two enemy spies turn up wanting her help.

Bathsheba, the stiff upper-lipped middle class army wife broods on her infidelity and pregnancy with a senior commander and the last argument she had with her husband before he is killed in combat.

Judith, a widow of three years, and the victim of abuse within her marriage and violence outside looks for revenge on men, generally with the murder of Holofernes in his sleep.

Finally, there is another war-widow, Hannah, forced to watch the bestial and cruel torture and murder of her seven sons, one by one, at the hands of their victorious enemies, who try and force each of them to renounce their religious beliefs.

Linda Marlow's wonderfully adept interpretation of all the four women's characters was superb. Excellent. - DALE MAITLAND CARTWRIGHT


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