August 20, 2007

Powerful Play with a Personal Message

While the genre of one-man plays still needs to be explored by the general public at large, Rich Swingle's Beyond the Chariots does it more than justice by presenting not only an outstanding script and oustanding acting talents; it leaves you nourished and inspired with the story of this incredible Scotsman who truly traded the world for the work of serving his God. In viewing this play as an Off-Broadway production in New York City, I was struck by the technical difficulty of the assembling of this play into a cohesive and accessible plotline given the wide range of races, ages and backgrounds of the characters portrayed, yet Swingle pulls it off without a glitch, down to his excellent vocal control after running an imaginary (and very real) sprint during one of Liddell's running sequences in the play! But all that aside, one is touched by this moving portrayal of a humble and down to earth man who would willingly turn down the opportunity to run in the 1924 Olympics to remain faithful to his God because the race was on a Sunday. Such humility, committment and integrity is so rare today and Swingle portrays this beautifully! Liddell was a man who was willing to give up the world for following the Christ, that is Jesus. But in short, an excellent play! Exceptionally well crafted on so many levels!
--Claude Chew

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