Last night I attended the first performance in the Aphra Theatre, on the University Campus, of “Seven Passages: The Stories of Gay Christians”, a play which sets the real-life stories of over 100 gay and lesbian Christians living in Michigan, USA against the seven passages from the Old and New Testaments used against the full inclusion of LGBT people in the church. It explores the relationship between those seven “clobber passages” of scripture that are used to condemn same-gender relationships and seven “life passages” common to gay and lesbian Christians.
The young cast of three men and three women gave an amazing performance on a simple stage with few props. They began by laying a cross composed of two pieces of white fabric on the stage floor. The fabric became a tent at one point, a shawl at another. The seven Bible passages were projected onto the back wall together with key words from the narrative.
The play received a standing ovation at the end. The audience were invited to stay for a conversation with the directors, and the cast facilitated by the Very Rev. Dr. Rowan Smith, Dean of Cape Town, South Africa. “Seven Passages” will be formed again tonight, July 31st, 8 pm, at the Aphra Studio, just to the right of the Grimond Building. If you are in Canterbury, don’t miss it!