The Bible: The complete word of God Abridged comes from the talents of the RSC, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, that is. The triptych of writers (Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor) are responsible for other abridged versions of sprawling subject matter - The Complete History of America (Abridged) and of course The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), which enjoyed a nine year run at the Criterion Theatre on London’s West End. So, in the tradition of this scholarly practise, its only fitting my review is concise. I wouldn’t be so bold as to deconstruct The Bible, so why would I this production? Here we go:
Anthony Hunt, Andy Leonard and Matt Rossner are essentially themselves undertaking this goliath sized task of relaying all the books of The Bible in its entirety in the average running time of a play, obviously some truncation is needed. The show dedicates an act for each testament of the Holy Text, the first act covering, of course the Old Testament and the second the New Testament.
The Complete Word of God is a pastiche of a lot of various elements. As we speed through the bible at a motion sickness inducing pace, certain styles are employed to help cut through the fatty parts and get to the point. This can be as simple as a blues number, a wrestling match or my personal favourite flash cards to tell the Josephs, Marys and Jeremiah’s apart!
Of course, an RSC show wouldn’t be as God intended without audience interaction. This is a phrase that makes every God fearing Christian wet themselves, I know, but somehow I didn’t mind it and I should know, I was called upon to be one of the sacrificial lambs!
Its quite clear with a show of this nature that the script relies heavily on the three wise men performing, and fortunately the chemistry of these three performers and their onstage interaction are heavenly to watch! It must be an exhilarating but exhausting experience as a performer as they are called upon to sing, dance, perform magic tricks and generally do that which only few of us are motivated to do (physical activity, that is) and all at heightened energy levels.
Of course, such a loose and seemingly shambolic play as this needs direction. Ironically, it needs good direction in order to make it appear as though it has no direction. This is achieved by Fiona Pulford’s directorial approach which is apparent but subtle.
The Bible: The Complete Word of God is hilarious and whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist or Agnostic, you’re bound to enjoy it. Go To!
A Different Corner Productions and Drama Queen Productions present
The Bible: The Complete Word of God Abridged
Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor
Directed by Fiona Pulford
Venue: Glen Street Theatre | Cnr Glen Street & Blackbutts Road, Belrose NSW
Dates: 12 November – 05 December
Times: Thursday – Saturday 8pm
Bookings: 02 9975 1455 | www.glenstreet.com.au