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Beyond Flesh and Blood - review

Beyond Flesh and Blood, Tabard Theatre

This is a most unusual play on a most unusual subject - incest, a subject which is almost taboo but which the Josef Fritzl story has brought to the front pages of the world.

Your Local Guardian: Beyond flesh and blood at the Tabard Beyond Flesh and Blood at the Tabard

The talented playwright Jason Charles, whose fourth play this is, has not gone directly to that horrendous story but shows the effect that it has on a young girl victim trying to retain her sanity and belief in God after the experience.

This is Christina (a beautiful performance by Rhona Marlene) whose mind is inhabited by two alter egos, her lascivious self, here Joanna King is the very essence of evil, and her dead father, Steve O'Toole who has masterfully tried to show her a religious life.

The quartet is completed by Locust (Colin Reed) a mysterious figure intent on preserving a giant sycamore on the estate.

This is a play of ideas - sex, God, and sanity all get their moments but there is a final rounding off of all the elements and a kind of equilibrium is restored to a shattered mind.

Expect the unexpected, leave some prejudices behind and you'll have a rewarding eighty minutes.

Beyond Flesh and Blood runs at the Tabard Theatre, Turnham Green until June 27, see tabardtheatre.co.uk for more information.

Richard Langton



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