It's not often the Adventist message of the Great Controversy is depicted through drama. But this production directed by Jermaine Wong did exactly that. Performed at the Catford Broadway on Saturday 14 December to a majority non-Adventist audience, the production And There Was War, set out to not only trace the beginnings of the fall of Lucifer ushering in the effects of sin, but this play went deeper. It set out before the viewer the intense spiritual, emotional and mental struggles of the angelic host. The battleground was set forth by an inside perception of how the beginnings of sin took place amongst God's created beings within an idyllic environment.
The play cleverly revealed the thinking and thought process of the angels who were created with free choice yet chose to allow the seeds of doubt and scepticism fuelled by the insinuations and accusations of Lucifer to become birthed and eventually actualised through their rebellion against God.
The interplay of coordinated movements and choreographed actions provided gripping attention that would make the viewer rethink the whole controversy story.
With Lucifer cast out of heaven with his angels, the play did well to chronicle the main testing times for humanity as described in the Bible, namely the tension of Cain toward Abel, and the test of faith for Noah and his family in building the ark. Perhaps the most gripping dialogue, however, was after the announcement to Mary that a Saviour would be born and her sharing this news with Joseph. The play successfully reads between the lines of the cultural and religious stigma associated with a man betrothed to a woman who had already conceived. The play also delves into the spiritual realm of the unseen forces of Satan who at every significant stage in the life of Christ (temptation in the wilderness, Gethsemane, the cross, tomb) was the pivotal instigator behind human actions.
There were good performances by all actors with specific attention to John Ojeyemi who played Immanuel and Toheeb Ibrahim who played Satan/Lucifer.
Danielle Wong one of the producers of the play said afterwards, "the 7:30 pm showing was packed and the audience feedback has been phenomenal! People making decisions to take Christ more seriously, non-believers moved to tears, people with mental health challenges feeling hope."
Each of the actors who themselves are on their own spiritual journey, testified of the impact the play had in their lives. Danielle commenting on this shared, "when the curtains closed the cast members broke down in tears in such emotion as they realised the power of this play and what they just did!"
Indeed, And There Was War proved to be much more than a dramatic depiction of the events in heaven. It was a clear appeal to those who are still yet undecided of where loyalties lie between Christ and Satan, to choose Christ today and allow Him to make that difference in their lives.