Testament by Tristan Bernays, Vimeo on demand to 24 April 2021. 4****. William Russell

First seen at the vaults in 2017 this is an intriguing and well staged production which surprises as the stories or testaments perhaps being delivered by four people unfold. Director by Lucy Jane Anderson manages to avoid the yet another monologue feeling and to create a genuine feeling of tension as the four players listen to their respective stories. Bernays has taken three Bible stories – Abraham and Isaac, Lot and that of one of thieves who died on the cross with Jesus and set them in modern day America in Bible belt worlds. As always you take a little while to grasp what it is all about but as Isaac son of a preacher man called Abraham tells his story it becomes clear, although whether Lot’s daughters had quite such a terrible fate as the sisters taken away from a town that has descended into fire and brimstone and corruption – mother is left behind having died or turned into a pillar of salt – may be more Bernays than the Bible, but it packs a tremendous punch as does that of the man on death row. They tall their stories to a gospel singer whose songs punctuate the action The players – Biko Eisen-Martin, Jessica Giannone, Cori Hindt, Doron Jepaul Mitchel and Desiree Rodriguez – are splendid.
Vimeo on Demand

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