Church Blitz, Theatre Review. Unity Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Cast: Samantha Walton, Adam Nicholls, Niall Hogan, Warren Kettle, Megan Bond, Callum Forbes, Nick Sheedy.

Be careful who you let in, that knock at the door as you hide in safety in a sanctuary, huddled together with strangers as mysterious lights and deadly rays fill the sky; when the world experiences a phenomena it cannot explain, not only does life’s companion Death come to take you by the hand, but the nagging thought that the mischievous, malicious and malign could call round to join in the fireworks is very much a certainty.

Naughty Corner Productions have already thrilled the Unity Theatre audience this week and yet again rise to the occasion in Church Blitz, a play which revels deeply in its roots of the malevolent interloper, of the dark secret that people hold when confronted by strangers brought together by fear, by the unknown and the possible terror that comes with being assured that humanity is beyond the feeling of being damned.

Strangers and trust, where to put your feelings of fear and who will take advantage of them, throw in the abundance of great black comedy, of the malevolence of the human spirit which errs on being so wicked that you question its true form and you have a play which you never want to end.

Nick Sheedy’s portrayal of Jude, the last stranger to join the gang hiding out in the place of worship, is a delight, utterly without mercy and one that pulls the audience in deep, that his charm is beyond doubt goes without saying and gives rise to those around him to question their own souls, it is punchy and delicious and with Samantha Walton in effervescent form as Sister Blue, there is never a moment to look away, to not look into the abyss of the human spirit being destroyed.

A true ensemble piece, captivating from the opening scene, brutally funny from the start and a play in which evokes images of recent films such as the absorbing Free Fire; Church Blitz is maniacal, devilish and fiendishly good, the direction of the piece hits home with ease and there is never a moment in which the actors relinquish that air of drama despite the interlocking of great humour involved. Church Blitz bombards the audience from the moment of the first terrifying knock at the door and keeps going till the final onslaught; a fantastic piece of theatre.

Ian D. Hall