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God the Untold Story written by Jason Fite | Review

God The Untold StoryExhausted by the trauma of creation, the being known as God takes on the form of a human female. Immortal and omnipotent, she is subject to the vulnerabilities of her shell. Dismayed by the incompetence of her (mostly male) acolytes, she retreats to Heaven, a golf club and health spa in Surrey. As portrayed by Suzy Bastone, she is an entitled middle-aged woman; apparently confident, but defining herself by her relationship with men, trapped in her own creation.

Sick of being constantly miss-quoted, she agrees to be interviewed by celebrity chat show host, Binty O’Reilley (Eileen Skopnik). God then engages a team of enthusiastic but incompetent actors to perform scenes from the untold story. A play within a play brings out the characters and frailties of these players, the blustering and bombastic Christopher Taj, the sensible and long-suffering Kerry Wotton (often playing young God), the charming but useless Paul O’Neil and the beautiful fire spirit Marina Tapakoudes, and we sense that relationships are forming.

Their earnest attempts are frequently hilarious, imagine Horrible Histories taking on the Bible, but serve only to reinforce God’s frustration. And as this incompetent troop attempt to play out Her will, whilst wholly missing the point of Her message, so we see doubt form in the heart of the eternal as, bound in human form, she comes to understand that she has forgotten the Word, as have we all, and that she has become fallen. A powerful message, and an ambitious work. And it was pacey, with some giggles and decent performances by a talented cast.

But.
The relationship between God and Binty does not light up. This is no ‘Frost v Nixon’. Both are written as one-dimensional female stereotypes.

Who best to interview a fallen female God? A God who had, albeit inadvertently, created the patriarchy and the suffering of her own gender? A caricature media-bitch? Really? Such a brilliant premise, but one not properly explored.

And we see enough of our ‘rude mechanicals’ to engage with their subplot and group dynamic, without that ever being properly articulated let alone resolved.

It’s also a bit tricky to take on the Old Testament and history of Israel without any reference to the present-day position. Chekhov’s gun is simply ignored.

Execution was messy. The cast struggled heroically with the script, and there were some nice sketches (the Unicorns were particularly funny), but ultimately it worked neither as sentimental light comedy (Bruce Almighty) nor absurdist dark comedy (The Book of Mormon, Life of Brian).

Best regarded as a development run by an emerging writer with some interesting ideas but work still to do.

Review by Laura Thomas

After several centuries in retirement, God has decided to make a comeback and will be granting an exclusive interview to popular chat-show host, Binty O’Reilley. In an attempt to put the Biblical record straight, God will give her version of the events of the Old Testament, as well as revealing some intimate details of her personal life and commenting on the state of the world in 2018. This momentous event will feature special guests including King Solomon, Moses, Noah and Mr and Mrs Unicorn. Discover where God has been all this time and why she has decided to return now. Exclusive revelations include…. which Biblical character’s real name is Mildred, how the dinosaurs were wiped out, the true hiding place of the Ark of the Covenant and how the Israelites accidentally invented surfing. No need to panic, just yet, but God will also be revealing the exact date for the end of the world…

CAST
Suzy Bastone
Christopher Tajah
Eileen Skopnik
Kerry Wotton
Marina Tapakoudes
Paul O’Neil

CREATIVES
Jason Fite – Author
Peracals Productions – Producer
Peter Gallagher – Director

Author

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