Theatre review - The Call of Nature, The Kings Arms Theatre, Salford

The Call of Nature – The Kings Arms Theatre, Salford

The Call of Nature – The Kings Arms Theatre, Salford - Credit: Archant

Rob Gemmell reviews The Call of Nature at The Kings Arms Theatre in Salford on Tuesday 19th May

The Call of Nature – The Kings Arms Theatre, Salford – Tuesday 19th May

Do we all have to suffer the fate of our sins? Will our actions of the past catch us up? Are we given divine retribution? These are some of the questions posed in Mike Heath’s new thought provoking play, The Call of Nature, a story which questions our faith.

Mike Heath pushes the boundaries of normal theatre with his own diverse take on a story where the audience are not just invited to watch, but are pulled in to play part of the story. No stranger to the Kings Arms in Salford, Heath opted to change his method of performance by utilising the basement underneath the establishment known as the The Lucy Davis Vaults. We are taken down a small, yet steep concrete staircase into a nightclub where three revellers are already partying hard and we, as the audience, become part of the story.

We are later led into another room, the front room of a house belonging to Gaby. Gaby bursts into the room clinched in a passionate, yet intoxicated embrace with Adam and Abe. They collapse on a mattress and it is soon evident where this could lead to. The drink flows as do the drugs and the three strangers converse and laugh together and gradually begin to understand a little more about each other. Abe is a priest in training, waiting for his ordination and questioning whether he agrees with what he is taught to preach, particularly in love and sex. Meanwhile, Gaby has her own views on faith and the belief in a God and she is also holding onto a dark secret, one that she shares with Adam and Adam is as yet unaware of.

Mike Heath has produced a piece of pure brilliance bordering on lyrical genius. He has the ability to show no fear when producing a theatrical piece of work, testing the ethics of theatre as well as pushing himself and his cast and crew to the limits in order to produce something diverse to normality and achieving a spectacular end result. His script plaits intense drama with humour with such ease that the flow of the dialogue was quick, punchy and extremely funny. His versatility as a writer is proof in his ability to change the theme of a story quite drastically and quickly like a lamp going off taking the light and leaving us with the darkness.

With the stars of the show - Nathan Morris as Abe, Darren Langford as Adam, Laura Danielle Sharp as Gaby and, portraying varying roles, Brad Bynington, Heath has been blessed with a truly phenomenal cast, but the beauty was the variance of characteristics in the triangle and how they blended together as an ensemble offering something different to each character and allowing the sentiment of the story to show dominance.

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The power of the themes involved and the subject matter are ones for both director and cast to approach with a professional, yet tentative approach, but such is Mike Heath’s skill, he goes in all guns blazing holding nothing back and adding vital realism to not only the play, but to the situation leaving us exhilarated and with breath well and truly taken. This is a play not to be missed.

Continuing from 20th - 24th May at the Kings Arms, Salford. 7:30pm. For more information and to book tickets please visit the website. @RobGemmell1