Paul swaps altar for stage role at Fringe

Paul Critchley and Kirsty Gwyn-Thomas who play Tom and Lizzie
Paul Critchley and Kirsty Gwyn-Thomas who play Tom and Lizzie

A Methodist minister is to swap the altar for the stage to perform at the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Paul Critchley, who is in pastoral charge of Knott End and Poulton, will play the part of Tom in a short play called Home Front/Front Line next week.

Home Front/Front Line is a 50 minute emotionally-charged look at life in the Second World War through the eyes of a young couple (Lizzie and Tom) serving their country in the Women’s Land Army at home and on the front line abroad.

Paul said: “I find it a very moving story and playing Tom, whose life is totally changed by the war, is a great privilege. Being able to perform at the Fringe is a thrilling development we couldn’t have anticipated when we started out.”

The story of Lizzie and Tom is based on diary entries, letters and official historical records from the Durham Light Infantry, and the multi-media presentation seeks to celebrate love, commitment and faith in the face of separation, hardship and conflict.

It is written by Rev. Canon David Banbury from Leyland.

He said: “It’s amazing to think that a lad who failed English at school should end up writing a play that appears at such a famous event!

“We have already performed the play in a number of churches as part of 1940s weekends across and people who see it find it to be a heart-warming and moving story, with a clear Christian message at the heart of it.

“Taking our little show on a big new adventure is an amazing opportunity to share with a much wider audience.”

Want to go?

The play will be staged at the Lime Studio, Greenside@Nicolson Square, 25 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, from August 14 to 19 at 6.30pm each evening.

There is no charge for admission, but it is a ticketed performance and tickets are bookable in advance. Tickets via 0131 226 0026 or www.edfringe.com.