Quite Drunk, Very Jesus-y | Key Conspirators and North of Eight

Quite Drunk, Very Jesus-yJudge not, that ye be not judged. Matt.7. [1] KJV

Theology is a sensitive topic, it can both bring people together and completely polarise them. Conversations regarding politics have a similar effect, and so in Key Conspirators collaboration with North of Eight’s production of Quite Drunk, Very Jesus-y the power combo of both religion and politics leads to a fiery display of differing opinions and tested friendships.

Four friends from Christian youth camp reunite for the 30th birthday of Agnes (Siobhan Connors) in a log cabin in the country where the wine is flowing and the conversation quickly becomes heated. Now grown, the four very different personalities and denominations quickly clash over each other’s life choices. Jessica Stanley is the effervescent hostess Beth, eager to please her friends with the “perfect weekend” at great personal and financial cost to herself. Stanley plays Beth with a manic energy, like a kettle ready to boil at any moment. Agnes is the sassy, self-assured artist, her brash and funny exterior giving way to vulnerability throughout the performance. Agnes’s gay BFF Justin, played by Gideon Wilonja is the cause behind much of the controversy between the group, with his “lifestyle” not being supported by Candace (Vivian Nguyen) who’s support of the “NO” vote in the marriage plebiscite is in direct opposition to Justin.

The play written by Grace De Morgan, which was developed as part of The Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, and won Highly Commended at the Rodney Seaborn Award 2017 is a curious look at a subject I’ve not experienced before on stage. Youth groups, Christian sensibilities and responsibilities tend to go over my head, but at the core of this production is heart. The need for companionship, support and love from those who know you best, regardless of political, sexual or religious inclination.

As the night progresses and with the introduction of Simon (Pat Moonie), Beth’s smooth talking older brother, the stakes are raised and emotions run high as promises are broken and secrets are revealed. In a hypnotic final scene that distorts reality, the characters are heightened with an Alice in Wonderland type oddity. Stanley is particularly brilliant as she skulks around the stage, her eyes taking up most of it.

Apart from a few fumbles over lines, the production was strong, the writing clear and personal and performances engaging. A great start to the Melbourne Fringe Festival season, Quite Drunk, Very Jesus-y, raises questions about friendship, morality, and the choices we make and the choices we can live with.

Key Conspirators and North of Eight presents
Quite Drunk, Very Jesus-y
by Grace De Morgan

Director Peter Blackburn

Venue: Fringe Hub | Trades Hall, New Council Chambers | Cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts Carlton VIC
Dates: 12 – 22 September 2019
Tickets: $25 – $30
Bookings: melbournefringe.com.au/event/quite-drunk-very-jesus-y

 

Related Articles

What Girls Are Made Of | Cora Bisset What Girls Are Made Of | Cora Bisset
A deeply engaging performer, Bisset has a powerhouse voice and stand out stage presence. Photo – Mihaela Bodlovic and Niall Walker This year’s Melbourne Festival line up is an eclectic mix of...
Black is the New White | Melbourne Theatre Company Black is the New White | Melbourne Theatre Company
Black is the New White is an absolute joy to watch. Left – Geoff Morell and Tuuli Narkle. Cover – Geoff Morrell and Tony Briggs. Photos – Jeff Busby Two houses, both alike in dignity…...

Most read Melbourne reviews

Anthem | Melbourne International Arts Festival

There’s a great deal happening in Anthem, a cross section of humanity meets and the differing...


What Am I Supposed To Do? (WAISTD)

Being both participant and audience forces a level of engagement that is physical and immediate,...


Quite Drunk, Very Jesus-y

Theology is a sensitive topic, it can both bring people together and completely polarise them.


Society | After Dark Theatre

If you like flips, tricks, circus routines, song and dance then this is the party to attend.


The Beautiful Game | Manilla Street Productions

Producer and Director Karen Jemison has assembled an incredibly present, intelligent and...


Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required