The Stage, Thursday 14 Sept 2000
Sub-titled 'A Musical Apocalypse', this new show has been described as being stylistically somewhere between The Life of Brian and Jesus Christ Superstar, but proves to be more entertaining than either.
Unfortunately, it is also too long, which is hardly surprising, sinnce Tim Jarman's book - from an original concept by Theolyn Cortens - sets out to cover the period from Creation to the present day. However, the approach is both refreshing and irreverent.
After Jehovah and Lucifer (the excelt Thor Kristinsson and Richard Swerrun) have hammered out a deal over free will, Adam (Michael Wareing) and Eve (Janet Parkinson) put down thier deck chairs and Thermos flask in order to do the apple business, with Eve accusing Adam - somewhat illogically - of having another woman.
Entrepreneur Cain (Paul Shay) slays his brother Abel (Derek Bell) after a dispute over property rights, and the Tower of Babel becomes part of a scheme for an office development and shopping mall.
References to the Crusades, Spanish Inquistion, Mrs Beeton, Dickens and Darwin all flash by, before the arrival of Polaris, when it all gets a bit serious. One of the best moments comes when Roman Emperor Constantine (Graham Bill) is turned into a football rattle-swinging pope, surrounded by a covey of hand-jiving cardinals.
Will Shaman's score has several amusing and engaging numbers, including Bye Bye Babel, Supply and Demand and a song aboue the essentials of 'spin' in and society. Everyone plays more than one role, and Siren Turkesh moves easily between Mary Magdalene and more.
Adrian Hilton directs this fast-paced production, which bears the classy choreographic seal of Wayne Sleep.