Hidden Perspectives

Bringing the Bible Out of the Closet

Recapping the Festival: Drama

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Part II: Drama

Here is your second instalment of festival summaries, focusing on drama performances by Tim Ralphs who portrayed the story of David and Jonathan from the Old Testament and Side by Side whose talk show styled drama considered homophobic interpretations of the Bible with a twist.

Tim Ralphs gave those at the festival an insightful and unique storytelling performance that considered the relationship between David and Jonathan, one that has been discussed as being more than platonic love. His performance uniquely merged an ancient story with contemporary stories of gay people of faith whom Ralphs had interviewed as part of this storytelling project.

Ralphs made it clear that whilst the Bible was composed hundreds and thousands of years ago, when you focus on the people and their individual stories in the Bible it is not too dissimilar to the people and stories of today. Ralphs poignant portrayal of David and Jonathan spoke to people across time and space, revealing the Bible’s relevance for all.


Side by Side’s performance addressed and challenged some of the most mainstream homophobic views which draw on the Bible for support, such as ‘Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve’ and highlighted how misled these notions were by stressing the importance Jesus put on love and equality among all people. Their performance was in the format of a talk show which discussed homophobic views supported by the Bible in light of new technology and new evidence. The recently developed QUEER machine (Quantum Ultraviolet Extra Energised Retina) allowed glimpses into the past and revealed snippets of events in Jerusalem closely after Jesus’s death.

Their message was loud and clear, love and equality for all! This group of young people had produced a drama that was not only relevant to all audiences, young and old, LGBTQ and straight, but also conveyed their message clearly whilst being entertaining and educational on many levels. The time, effort and dedication that these young people had put into their performance was evident and commendable. The end product was an interesting and enlightening piece of drama.

Author: Hidden Perspectives

A research project within the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) at The University of Sheffield.

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