Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Gods at The Globe.

To The Globe for an afternoon as a groundling, catching two shows. First up was a fun filled, rumbustious Tony Harrison version of The Mysteries, full of theatrical tricks and lively invention. The always impressive David Hargreaves played God - blunt, plain talking and often impatient. His only solace against the misdemeanors of mankind a cup of strongly brewed Yorkshire tea and the chance to put his feet up in the shabby armchair from where he oversaw creation.

There are some stunning set pieces. The Massacre of the Innocents full of genocidal horror, the 2nd Shepherds Play finely tuning broad farce with the poignant announcement of the nativity and the casual conversation of the workmen nailing Christ to the cross, whilst deciding how to wager for his cloak, all served as excellent reminders of the way in which the Medieval writers skillfully implicated their audience into shows of awe and wonder. Here the word is truly made flesh and we are held responsible. This is not voyeuristic theatre. We're present and forced into decisions at every turn.

Back in the evening to see a new comedy The God of Soho by the Scottish dramatist Christopher Hannan. Feisty and hectic it felt a bold choice for the venue and to begin with the audience struggled to get a grip on the broad humour and slightly surreal version of heaven and hell presented before them. Essentially the play is centred around three love affairs God -played this time by Parklife legend Phil Daniels - and Mrs God are slowly losing it, but keep a fond banter going meanwhile their daughter the Goddess of Love spurned by a New God comes down to Essex to see if she can regain her magic. Here she ends up watching the tender but self destructive relationship between celebrity it-girl Natty and her musician boyfriend Baz who in turn are struggling to find the formula to become nobodies that might enable them to put their own egos aside and be blissfully happy together.

In reality it's all too much for two and a half hours - but there's some great lines, beautiful moments and in the end a powerful, if self evident, truth about the nature of love is laid bare. I'm not sure you need much else from a day at the theatre.


No comments: