Beyond the Chariots

04.30.23 02:02 PM Comment(s) By Rich

The four-time Academy Award-winning film Chariots Of Fire tells how Eric Liddell refused to run the 100 meters in the 1924 Paris Olympics because a qualifying heat was held on a Sunday. Instead he ran the 400m, a race in which he wasn't expected to place. He finished it five meters ahead of the favorite, winning the gold and breaking the world record. Rich Swingle's one-man play, Beyond the Chariots, picks up where the film left off, showing Eric in his greatest race, as a missionary to war-torn China. 

We're excited to be taking the play to Europe this summer to celebrate the centenary of Liddell's world record in the 400m at the 1924 Paris Olympics. This is the first time the Olympics have been hosted by a city exactly 100 years apart, and it's putting the spotlight on Liddell.

Here are our tour dates:

June 22, 2 p.m. (t)

Beyond the Chariots

Theatre 315
315 W 47th Street

Portglenone, Northern Ireland

28 June - 2 July
29 June, 4 p.m.
Big Top
29 June, 7 p.m. 
Big Top
Excerpts from

Frankfurt, Germany
4 July, 8 p.m. (German translation slides)
"Jonah" and "Gideon" from  Big Fish Little Worm
Kruppstr. 98
Paris, France
6 July, 11 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. (t)
Centenary of Eric Liddell preaching in the Scots Kirk
Scots Kirk

Edinburgh, Scotland
11 July, 12:30 p.m.
Centenary of Eric Liddell's world record in the 400m 
Brief excerpt from
The Wellbeing Lunch
The Eric Liddell Centre

Edinburgh, Scotland
11 July, 3 and 6 p.m.
Centenary of Eric Liddell's world record in the 400m 
Morningside United Church
15 Chamberlain Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4DH

Leith, Scotland

Kilsyth, Scotland
14 July, 3.30 p.m.
Kilsyth Burns and Old Church

Chantilly, France
July 18, 6.30 p.m. (t)
Three hours after an Olympic torch exchange there

Paris, France
20 July, 19h 45 (t)
Protestant Evangelical Chinese Church
102 avenue Jean Jaures, 93500 Pantin

Paris, France
24 July, 20h (t)
l'Eglise Evangélique Baptiste 
Vie Nouvelle de Noisy
23 Avenue du Général de Gaulle,
93160 Noisy-le-Grand

Paris, France
                      3 August, 20h (t)                     
l'Eglise Evangélique Baptiste de Paris
48 rue de Lille 
75007 Paris

Paris, France
                        August 10, 17h 45 (t)                       
Followed by a buffet dinner and 
world class athletes giving their testimonies
Paris Épicenter 
24, rue Antoine-Julien
Hénard, 75012, Paris
(​​t): Translation slides will be available in most venues in French, Spanish, and as soon as they're finalized, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean, Tamil and Hungarian.
In the past we've brought the play to Beijing, Dan Dong (China), Hong Kong, and Macau during the 2008 Olympics, Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics, Singapore during the 2010 Youth Olympics, and London during the 2012 Olympics. We've also brought it to Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea.

If your group needs a translation we don't have yet we can set up a common document so you can have a number of people working on it simultaneously, which can allow for a very speedy process.

If available, accomplished pianist Timothy J. Mercaldo can play music from Chariots of Fire before, during, and at key moments in the play.

Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, though some venues may have requested a shortened version.
The Shanghai Daily: "The Flying Scotsman's China days"
National Catholic Reporter: "Rich Swingle acts out his ministry"

Le spectacle est vraiment saisissant.
(The show is grabbing.)
La présentation de l’Évangile est claire!
(The presentation of the Gospel is clear!)
--  Pascal Vermès 
Grand admirateur d'Eric Liddell!

I’m not sure which was better: the writing or the acting.
—Robert Fresco
Academy Award-winning filmmaker for Chechoslovakia 1968

At the Christian Worldview
Film Festival, 2016.
Courtesy Evergreen Media Productions.

We all need a reminder of what God can do through a devoted soul, and there is no better way to draw close to that than by watching Rich Swingle perform this miraculous one-man show. It's not just the layers Rich brings out of the characters, not just his command as an actor playing multiple roles, it isn't just the fine writing -- it's that God's spirit is present from beginning to end as Rich draws us into Eric Liddell's heart. I marvel at the depth of this performance and the power in this play. As a former runner, I loved how the intensity of running was captured on a small stage. Beyond the Chariots will take you through joy, pain, and redemption with laughs along the way. What it will not do is leave you untouched.
--Joan Bauer, novelist
Author of Hope Was Here, Stand Tall, and Rules of the Road
Awards include: Newbery Honor Medal, the LA Times Book Prize, the Christopher Award

...a fine story, lovingly and energetically told.
—The Scotsman

...the acting capabilities on show in this one-man show...were...astounding...

It is hard to tell a story as a single actor involving multiple characters - ambitious always, but Rich brought clarity and had a strong point of view throughout. His character work is really good and as always, his dialects are wonderful!
—John Forbes
Actor, Director, Producer
TV, Film - Stage - Off-Broadway, NYC

I have just returned from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, having seen Beyond the Chariots. I thought it was BRILLIANT and marvelously performed. I would like to know if there are any plans to perform it in London?
—Susan Beck

Get everyone to see this that you can!
—Bobby Grayson
Emmy Award-winning makeup artist for Saturday Night Live

I was impressed with Rich’s work as an actor and producer for Beyond the Chariots.  Every moment was skillful.
—Max McLean

Great performance--authentic, moving, thought provoking! Beyond the Chariots grips you with Eric Liddell’s story of success to significance. 
—Dr. James Hudson Taylor III
Great-grandson of Hudson Taylor, who founded the China Inland Mission, now Overseas Mission Fellowship International
When he was a boy, Dr. Taylor was in the concentration camp with Eric Liddell.

(Rich has) exuberance and high energy in the portrayal of several well-defined characters of the piece. This guy is REALLY talented!
—Felicia Lopes
General Manager, Drama Desk Awards
President, 5 Stone Productions, LLC

If you need an event that will inspire believers in Christ, draw seekers to Christ, entertain all and amaze everyone, this is it!
—Susan Somerville Brown
Closing company of CATS on Broadway

What an incredible performance!!!  We were highly entertained and inspired!
—Mark D. Rasche
Co-Founder, CEO
Wise King Media
Adventum, Johnathan Park Audio Adventures

This is going to blow you away! I've seen Chariots of Fire about 20 times, but I think this is more interesting.
—Chris White
Associate Pastor
Trail Christian Fellowship
Shady Cove, OR

Swingle's one-man, high-energy, hour-long play...won him many hearts.
—David Nadeau, The Capital, Three Hills, Alberta, Canada

I cannot possibly express how much last night's event moved me, apart from your amazing talent and marvelous dramatic presentation. Having never known my father, I have... looked for authentic experiences that confirm my impressions of him as a man. "Beyond the Chariots" made you feel the intensity and the "blood, sweat and tears" of my Father's life. It was wonderful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

—Maureen (Liddell) Moore

Rich's depiction of Eric Liddell's continued story is POWERFUL! I was instantly drawn into Eric's journey and was touched by his ministry, and the twist at the end. Only God!
--Becky Bartlett

Here's the trailer from Rich's performance at the Singapore Expo...
For more photos click here.
For photos from the performance
at Alistair Begg's church
click here. And for those at the 
College of Officer Training click here.

More about Eric Liddell

There are two booklets about Eric Liddell in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics: 

    J.John, an evangelist, author, and broadcaster, wrote "Race of Your Life."

    Graham Daniels and Jonny Reid wrote "Racing for Glory."

For a list of books by and about Eric Liddell visit

For more comments about Rich's work visit our Quotes page.

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