Everyone knows the best bits in the Bible are in the Old Testament, where all the blood gore and mucky bits are buried. Which is why such great yarns of begetting and be-heading are such a great gift to dramatists. Especially, it seems, when it concerns women at war. Matthew Hurt’s compendium of four portraits of these grand dames of theological literature is a gift for Linda Marlowe, who performs each with trademark dynamism and verve in a semi-contemporised delivery.
Rahab is a hard-as-nails whore plying her wares in a war-zone. Bathsheba’s cut-glass but frustrated officer’s wife could have stepped straight from some bosom-heaving Noel Coward propaganda flick had she not given in to temptation. Judith, already made flesh in Howard Barker’s eponymous 1990s play, is a fiery and calculating dervish, while Hannah remains quietly defiant in her faith.
From storm to calm and back again, Marlowe’s every emotional sinew is on show in a hand-on-heart confessional that puts faith in the frontline in a way that suggests God’s hand was blessed with a woman’s touch.
The Herald, August 2007