Hats off to the Oddments Theatre Co for taking the Good News to venues across the UK through drama. Although I have a speech and drama degree I haven’t seen a play in years. And of course nobody has been out that much over the past year, but my wife and I did get to go and see the Hiding Place at a local church and I am so glad because it was brilliant.
While it’s so easy to stay at home and binge watch boxsets, even a series as good as The Chosen, there is nothing quite like being part of a live audience. The story takes on another dimension as you see how others react, whether it is in shock or laughter and to be able to express appreciation directly to the actors with a round of clapping. And, the Oddments Theatre Co deserve all applause they get.
The Hiding Place is a well known story, and its author, Corrie Ten Boom is a best loved Christian writer who is often quoted for her many golden nuggets that instil faith:
- “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” .
- “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
- “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
So, while you may have seen the film about her life, I also encourage you to see the play. We all need to be reminded of how God’s light can shine even in the darkest places and the Oddments Theatre team vividly achieve this as they reach out to audiences across the UK in churches, prisons and schools.
Founded by Barry Boyton, Oddments is is a full-time Christian Theatre Company based in Yeoville that aims to produce “quality drama, which is both entertaining to watch and thought-provoking”. In addition to the Hiding Place, they have a repertoire of material suitable for both outreaches and believers.
Experience The Hiding Place with Oddments Theatre
While we may venture back to see their upcoming Christmas production, It was the Hiding Place that particularly impresses me. Corrie Ten Boom, her father Casper and sister, Betsie have been recognised by the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, Yad Vashem as being ‘righteous among the nations’ for their part in preserving Jewish lives during World War 11. Their story is as relevant today as ever, providing a shining example of what God expects us to do in the toughest of situations, even when it may cost us everything. Of course depicting anything to do with the Holocaust is decidedly grim, but the Oddments team deliver such a message of hope, with just the right mix of humour and shock.
Barry makes a convincing Casper Ten Boom as well as taking on several other characters during the course of the play, showing his many talents. The cast are excellent, some playing multiple characters, with different accents and costume changes. You will love Corrie’s enthusiasm for life and her stand to do what is right. This includes walking in forgiveness when it seems impossible to do so. The actress who plays Betsie, delivers a brilliant performance. You can see God’s love shining brightly within, inspiring us to seek Him more deeply.
While the name Oddments Theatre may seem a little, well, “odd”, there is nothing strange about this dynamic group of actors, lighting and back stage specialists. It’s wonderful to see them using their God given talents to the best of their ability, that “they may by all means win some.”
I was particularly impressed by the amount of scene changes, cleverly executed by a portable set that opens and shuts. I also felt the team addressed the horrors of the Nazi prison camps in a powerful way. How do you convey the vulnerability of being completely naked and exposed to an evil enemy? Yet Oddments manage to do this in a dignified way that still manages to shock, vividly capturing man’s inhumanity to man.
Keep an eye out for the Hiding Place coming to your town. Or invite the Oddments Theatre team to perform at your church or school. This is a production you can take unbelieving friends and family to see. It will certainly spark an interest in how God can turn things around, especially when we thank Him in all situations, including where we find ourselves overrun by fleas. God can do the impossible, including soften the hardest of hearts. In this case, a prison guard asking his former victim for forgiveness, and even more astounding, how the Lord enables her to do so.
I am so enthralled by the story, I now need to read the Corrie Ten Boom trilogy which tell the story of the Hiding Place in detail as well as what happened in her life both before and after the War. These are available at Bridge Books.