REVIEW: Jesus: No Ordinary Life | Lockwood Productions

jesus-damon-lockwood-blue-room-theatre-satire-chur1

A while back, Damon Lockwood put on a show at The Blue Room called Jesus: No Oridnary LifeI thought it was pretty funny, and I wrote a review of it for The Post Newspaper, which appeared in said publication on or around 27th of June. If you are a SCRIBD user you might be able to get to it through this link:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/…/POST-Newspaper-for-27th-of-June-2015

Or you might not, I’m not sure. So just in case you can’t here’s the full review I submitted, though it may have been edited slightly for print.

Jesus: No Ordinary Life

The Blue Room Theatre

Thursday, June 18, 2015
The greatest story ever told never gets old, does it? Artists can’t resist it, audiences eat it up, and comedians use it for blasphemous fodder. Writer/director Damon Lockwood is giving his own satirical version of Biblical events in his new madcap comedy Jesus: No Ordinary Life. It features an ensemble of some of Perth’s improv comedy heavyweights and takes a swing at modern life using the ancient tale as the framework.

 

An ad agency has been hired to find a new Jesus to represent the increasingly unpopular Church, and although the “real” Jesus (Shane Adamczak) shows up to audition for the role, it ends up going to someone who looks the part and has an actor’s slick delivery (Brendan Hanson). The new Jesus is a huge success, but the actor playing him has trouble separating fact from fiction, and soon begins to buckle under the pressure of the constant demands of the role. He begins to believe he really is Jesus, and allows himself to be convinced to make the ultimate sacrifice as a method actor.

 

Jesus: No Ordinary Life proceeds like improvised sketch comedy as the performers tag on and off scene and wait just off stage for their next bit. Nothing is sacred with this troupe, and nothing is off limits, so it probably won’t be comfortable for the devout Christian contingent. But for those who can take their religion with a grain of salt (or with a grain of Lot’s wife, as the performers did in one scene), there will be plenty of laughs as Lockwood and Co. make light of God and Co.

 

The performers make the most of their characters, and demonstrate the kind of generosity, agility and teamwork that years of improvisation would have afforded them. Even musical theatre stalwart Brendan Hanson gets right into the game and proves his comedy chops as he makes his Blue Room debut after all these years and does a great send-up of the typical insecure actor.

 

It’s really the performers that turn this water into wine, as the material doesn’t necessarily add anything especially groundbreaking to the canon of Jesus satire. You’ll want to make the inevitable comparison to Monty Python, but do resist. The cast are such good craftspersons, from Andrea Gibbs as an endearingly naughty Mary, to Nick Pages-Oliver as the best stepdad a Son of God could ask for, that we revel in their rebellious irreverence and forgive the occasionally scattered script. There’s a special madness that Lockwood builds into his shows, and he’s not afraid to go into some fairly nutty territory, and this is where it excels.

 

CICELY BINFORD

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