• Tony Bosworth

The Silver Tunnel - one-act thriller comes to Windsor thanks to Rev Bill Crews

The one-act thriller The Silver Tunnel presented by legendary hero of the homeless, Rev Bill Crews, debuted in COVID-controlled conditions last year when lockdown saw him turn his inner west Sydney church into a theatre.

The Silver Tunnel actors Tim Matthews and Ric Herbert with the Rev Bill Crews

That worked so well, The Silver Tunnel has been touring and being shown exclusively in local churches – and this Friday and Saturday it’s the turn of Windsor’s Uniting Church on Macquarie St to play host.

The Silver Tunnel was first performed at Crews’ Ashfield Uniting Church, stars Ric Herbert and Tim Matthews, and is touring from February to April – and it's performed for free.

It visits Manly, Liverpool, Windsor, and Katoomba Uniting Churches this month, before heading to Wollongong, Berry, St Georges Basin (in March), plus Adamstown, Bathurst, Parkes and Dubbo in April.

It’s what you might call darkly comic - set in a graveyard, performed in churches - this sparkling production confronts suicide by celebrating life - with lots of laughs along the way.

The plot revolves around Sydney’s oldest graveyard: seven tombstones...all suicides from the time of the First Fleet. Old Harry is their ‘keeper’. He’s tended their graves for 34 years. He talks to them. They talk back. Now, he’s digging an eighth grave… who is it for? Jason the suicidal apprentice gravedigger arrives - because the voices have called him in. Harry can’t hear them anymore. Why not? And who will end up in the eighth grave?

Writer-director Warwick Moss won the Premier’s Literary Award in 1984 with the comic mystery thriller Down An Alley Filled With Cats. Yet the veteran actor, writer and filmmaker is best known for hosting the long running TV series ‘The Extraordinary’ which delved into ghostly matters. The larrikin storyteller performed in The Silver Tunnel’s original 1987 production in a Manly Disco!

Rev Bill Crews has been fighting for the poor, homeless and needy for almost 50 years. Starting with the street kids of Kings Cross in the 1970s, he worked with the Wayside Chapel until he moved to Ashfield in the 1980s and opened his now famous Loaves and Fishes free restaurant in the grounds of the Uniting church. To this day, thousands of free meals are served every week to those in need, while providing free dental, medical and social services. The food and health services are now mobile as his work spreads far beyond its Ashfield roots.

“What a couple of years it’s been eh?” says Rev Bill. “Time for a bit of hope and entertainment. A play set in a graveyard performed in a church? Fabulous! The church becomes part of the set. Like all our endeavours, this inspiring touring production is primarily aimed at raising awareness and funds for the poor and disadvantaged people we protect – as well as to introduce our services to new areas.

“At the 2020 premiere season, our homeless, often struggling, guests sat side by side with ‘normal’ theatre goers. They all loved it and got the same message ...the wonder and value of life.”

Running time 50 minutes, tickets FREE | COVID-safe conditions apply View the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/632286379

More information, full tour schedule & all bookings www.thesilvertunnel.org

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