Believers Anonymous

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Believers Anonymous
© Stuart Laidlow
Believers Anonymous

Imagine the not-too-distant future: atheism reigns, and the faithful have been massacred in their millions. Those left behind have few options: persecution and imprisonment, or attendance at Believers Anonymous – a 12-step programme complete with custard creams, sharing sessions and uncomfortable orange plastic chairs.

It's a compelling premise, handled with insight and precision by writer Cordelia Lynn and director Holly Race Roughan for the impressive young new-writing company Strip Theatre. Effectively, Lynn presents us first with the familiar – the grubby hall; the motley group of individuals – and then drip-feeds us the unfamiliar and disturbing: the outlawing of all religion by the sinister 'Great Global Society'.

Each of the eight members of the group – from Joanne (Keisha Amponsa Banson), an evangelical Christian turned bullying group leader; to Mary (Tamsin Topolski), a nervy Catholic still clinging to her rosary – represents a different religion.

It's to the credit of the razor-sharp writing and the excellent performances that the characters never feel like stereotypes. In particular, Nick Finegan shines as Terry, a disturbed young man convinced only of 'the more' that lies beyond human existence.

The play builds to a tense crescendo, and its thought-provoking examination of the necessity of belief will linger long in your mind, whatever your credo.

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Susan Gilbert

fabulous production with excellent acting and direction. the play is based on a very original idea which is both moving and hysterically funny. go!

toyah smartt

Gripping, moving, thought-provoking script and fantastically good direction and acting. I was laughing at the beginning and crying at the end. Don't miss it.