A Review of Being Jesus presented by Delirium Comedy Group as a part of Anywhere Theatre Festival
Last night, Delirium Comedy Group's Being Jesus opened to a full house at the Boundary Hotel and, after a rocky start, seems destined for success. Being Jesus is a breath of fresh air, an original show that has everything this audience member could ever want, without resorting to any cheap gimmicks. Only using 6 actors, 5 bar stools, 3 lights, a table, and a handful of bottles of what used to be water (assuming the son of God has completed his daily miracles), Being Jesus tells a heart-warming, hilarious and weirdly accurate story of the dysfunctional holy family.
It is Jesus' birthday party, and he has invited his entire family to celebrate. There's the ego-maniacal God, the flamboyant Lucifer, the abusive mother Mary, 'the abused' Joseph, along with a surprise appearance from Judas himself! With over 2000 years of familiar tension built up, things are guaranteed to explode.
The performers told the story brilliantly, with their facial expressions carrying the show on it's own, before you can even take into consideration the masterful text by Chris Charteris. It became clear that some of the cast members were not used to theatrical performance, hence carrying over some habits forged by working in film. Thankfully overcoming these habits is part of the learning curve associated with familiarising yourself with theatre, and that can quickly be overcome. Outside of that, the comedic timing and focus of the actors involved was impeccable and exemplified the quality of show that this was.
The only disappointments that I have about the show are things that are entirely out of the performers control. The Boundary is not accommodative of the show, as loud music outside of the performance space easily bled in, often making it difficult to distinguish what audio was intended to be part of the show and what wasn't. Also, the opening night was marred with technical and logistical problems, which shouldn't be an issue throughout the rest of the season. For the first weekend, director Michael Fowle will be playing the role of God, as a personal emergency resulted in being unable to perform in the first week of the season. This could have been a disaster, however Fowle's knowledge of the show and performative ability meant that his last minute inclusion did not detract from the show.
The humour in Jesus was classic, regularly jumping back and forth between crude humour and dad jokes. This show is truly a sitcom taken to the stage, executed with precision and without the need for any level of Americanised laugh tracks. This show absolutely has the potential to go further. Talking with the director and cast, everyone involved is confident that the show will only get better from here. Being Jesus is being staged over 3 weeks and is only 10 dollars. There is no excuse not to see this.
Buy your tickets at http://anywherefest.com/buy-tickets/being-jesus/
And like Delirium Comedy Group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deliriumcomedygroup