The Bi­ble ac­cord­ing to . . .

The Tribune (NZ) - - Theatre -

The Good News

Cu­rated and di­rected by Adam Goodall and Johnny Craw­ford for the Mak­ing Friends Col­lec­tive St John the Evan­ge­list Church, Feild­ing July 2 The Dark Room, Palmer­ston North, July 3- 4 Re­viewed by Richard Mays

‘‘It’s a heavy book . . . a grim read’’.

That’s how a cou­ple of uniden­ti­fied re­spon­dents de­scribe the Holy Bi­ble in this per­for­mance free-for-all through the pages of both Tes­ta­ments.

A work de­vised around word­for-word rec­ol­lec­tions by 21 peo­ple who were in­ter­viewed about the Bi­ble and re­li­gion, The Good News is far from be­ing heavy, or grim.

On an open stage, apart from a cou­ple of plas­tic toy boxes, three young per­form­ers Amy Grif­fin-Browne, Har­riet Hughes and James Cain, de­liver the tran­scripts of the Bi­ble’s ‘‘nonHol­ly­wood nar­ra­tive struc­ture’’ be­gin­ning with ‘‘In the be­gin­ning’’ and work­ing their way through to Rev­e­la­tion. God – com­plete with mas­quer­ade stick-mask beard – Adam and Eve and Lilith; the flood, cour­tesy of a wa­ter pis­tol and an­i­mal toys; con­fu­sion be­tween Noah and Moses; the num­ber 40; Abra­ham and Isaac, with Isaac be­com­ing Joseph’s dad in the coat of many colours tale. Is Moses Chris­tian Bale or Rus­sell Crowe? No mat­ter, the plague of lo­custs is ren­dered us­ing a cou­ple of re­leased par­tially in­flated flut­ter­ing bal­loons. Clever.

David and Go­liath, Eli­jah and Elisha, Job, King Solomon as Jay-Z, Jonah and the whale all whizz by – then all of a sud­den, Je­sus, John the Bap­tist, Zac­cheus, the last supper, the Res­ur­rec­tion and the multi- headed crea­tures of Rev­e­la­tion, while man­ag­ing to ref­er­ence Ru­grats and The Simp­sons.

It’s as if the Ugly Shake­speare Com­pany had de­cided to tackle the iconic tome. And it’s such a well­honed, well jug­gled and amus­ing hour and a quar­ter pre­sen­ta­tion, with the per­form­ers at pace sen­si­tively cap­tur­ing and re­lay­ing the nu­ances and speech pat­terns of the tran­script re­spon­dents in all their sin­cer­est bib­li­cal un­cer­tainty.

Cen­sor­ship did ap­ply ap­par­ently, to the more pro­fane ex­pres­sions dur­ing the per­for­mance de­liv­ered at Feild­ing’s St John the Evan­ge­list Church, but apart from that, this mis­re­mem­bered re-ex­pres­sion of the Good Book takes place ver­ba­tim.

Its flu­ency says plenty for the cu­ra­tion and ar­range­ment of the in­ter­views, and for the skill of the ac­tors who cap­ture both the chaotic and the co­her­ent with­out miss­ing a beat.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.