Blue Mountains News

’The Silver Tunnel’ - A hell of a play in a holy place - Free

By sirmai arts publicity
Posted: 8 Dec 2021
The surprise theatre hit of 2020 is set to tour 12 NSW suburban and regional centres in early 2022 with free performances, carrying its inspiring message of ‘choosing life’.

The rollicking one-act thriller presented by legendary hero of the homeless, Rev Bill Crews, debuted in Covid-controlled conditions last year when lockdown saw him turn his inner west Sydney church into a theatre!

Audiences and critics alike thrilled to The Silver Tunnel, when it was first performed at Crews’ Ashfield Uniting Church. Starring Ric Herbert and Tim Matthews (below right), the darkly comic play returns to Ashfield in January before touring from February to April 2022 – where it will be performed free – in churches, just like its original version – right across NSW. It visits Manly, Liverpool, Windsor, Katoomba, Wollongong, Berry, St Georges Basin, Adamstown, Bathurst, Parkes & Dubbo.  
         
Set in a graveyard, heaven and hell - yet performed in churches - this sparkling production confronts suicide by celebrating life - with lots of laughs along the way. The Silver Tunnel is indeed “a hell of a play in a holy place”.

Sydney’s oldest graveyard: seven tombstones...all suicides from the time of the First Fleet. Old Harry is their ‘keeper’. He’s tended their graves for 34 years. He talks to them. They talk back. Now, he’s digging an eighth grave… who is it for? Jason the suicidal apprentice gravedigger arrives - because the voices have called him in. Harry can’t hear them anymore. Why not? And who will end up in the eighth grave?

Writer-director Warwick Moss won the Premier’s Literary Award in 1984 with the comic mystery thriller Down An Alley Filled With Cats. Yet the veteran actor, writer and filmmaker is best known for hosting the long running TV series ‘The Extraordinary’ which delved into ghostly matters. The larrikin storyteller performed in The Silver Tunnel’s original 1987 production.

Rev Bill Crews (left) has been fighting for the poor, homeless and needy for almost 50 years. Starting with the street kids of Kings Cross in the 1970s, he worked with the Wayside Chapel until he moved to Ashfield in the ‘80s and opened his now famous Loaves and Fishes free restaurant in the grounds of the Uniting church. To this day, thousands of free meals are served every week to those in need, while providing free dental, medical and social services. The food and health services are now mobile as his work spreads far beyond its Ashfield roots.

“What a couple of years it’s been eh?” says Rev Bill. “Time for a bit of hope and entertainment! A play set in a graveyard performed in a church? Fabulous! The church becomes part of the set!  Like all our endeavours, this inspiring touring production is primarily aimed at raising awareness and funds for the poor and disadvantaged people we protect – as well as to introduce our services to new areas. At the 2020 premiere season, our homeless, often struggling, guests sat side by side with ‘normal’ theatre goers. They all loved it and got the same message ...the wonder and value of life.”

This 3,000k tour is an entertaining, travelling billboard for the work of the Rev Bill Crews Foundation. The production tours in its own branded van and features the same top cast as in 2020: high profile singer/actor Ric Herbert (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show, The Full Monty, Equus, A Hard God, Underbelly, Wild Side and Sweet and Sour) and talented newcomer Tim Matthews (Studio 3, Disney Channel).


The Silver Tunnel – Presented by the Rev Bill Crews Foundation

KATOOMBA UNITING CHURCH – FEBRUARY

142 Katoomba Street Katoomba

Fri 25th 8pm - Sat 26th 4pm & 8pm

Running time 50 minutes, tickets FREE | Covid-safe conditions apply
View the trailer here:
More, information, full tour schedule & all bookings here

 

 
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