“What does it mean to love, honour and obey – if you’re gay?”
A new play exploring the issue from a religious perspective is being performed in Liverpool this week thanks to the support of St Brides’s Church in the Georgian Quarter.
One Flesh is an original script by LIPA graduate Naomi Sumner, that tells the story of Esther and Natalie who are in love and want the approval of those they care about. But Esther’s brother, Caleb, thinks that God doesn’t approve. Should they play things (literally) by The Book and cancel their plans for marriage? Will faith and family determine who they love?
The church is split over same-sex marriage. But what does it mean for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians who want to form the same union as their brethren?
“One Flesh explores this from within the Evangelical Christian tradition which singer and worship-leader Vicky Beeching divided when she came out in 2014,” the company explains. “The church’s reluctance to discuss homosexuality has led to tragic consequences for LGBT young people, like Manchester teenager Lizzie Lowe who committed suicide in 2014 as she was afraid of rejection by her church community.”
One Flesh presents questions that the company says are often brushed under the carpet, and promises post-show discussions to provide audience, faith-leaders and community leaders the opportunity to share their opinions and experiences.
Writer and director Naomi Sumner says: “When Vicky Beeching came out I found the different ways Christians reacted to the news really interesting, that people who follow the same faith could have such widely differing opinions, from whole-hearted validation and support to outright condemnation.”
She adds: “I wrote this play to encourage the Church to talk about how they might approach the issue of same sex relationships and relate to LGBT Christians.”
The play is on tour, supported by Arts Council England, and comes to the Quaker Meeting House in Liverpool City centre on Saturday (March 5).
Tickets are £9 from onefleshtheplay.eventbrite.co.uk.
The play stars Barney Cooper, Fiona Organ, Lucy Hird, Rachel Creamer, Seth Daniels and Victoria Tunnah, and is produced in conjunction with STUN, Studio Salford, WriteForTheStage, The Proud Trust and St Bride’s Liverpool.