Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat is back at the Soho this Christmas and it’s an absolute treat; perhaps not for the whole family, but certainly for anyone who wants a bit of naughty fun to celebrate the festive season. McCormick presents her very own subversive cabaret, with two stunning backing dancers, pop culture classics and a whole lot of fabulous mess to re-tell the story of the New Testament, which she explains whilst singing into a purple dildo. If that doesn’t shout ‘THIS IS THE STORY OF JESUS CHRIST’, then I don’t know what does.
McCormick’s re-telling of specific moments from the New Testament are presented through genius creations of DIY performance art, in which she performs as all of the main characters. As she explains, the New Testament is a bit of a boys’ club, so she puts her two boys right at the back of the performance, who fulfil every command of the artist at the centre. This work is feminist at its core. It recreates the patriarchal history of religion through the female body and viewpoint. At the same time, McCormick certainly doesn’t let the talents of her co-performers go unnoticed. They collaborate together to perform tightly choreographed dance routines; the movements are fierce; their bodies are powerful. The show excels in its ability to maintain an aesthetic and feel of contemporary performance art, whilst simultaneously grounding itself with the traditions, slickness and show-biz talent of a more traditional musical theatre cabaret scene. Its structure is highly engaging, as its three acts are performed with intercutting songs, dances and storytelling.
The show teases out elements of the Bible with products from the kitchen. The audience are offered gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (in the form of Gold Blend coffee, frankfurter sausages and meringue.). Meringue dust rains over the dancers, creating a sinfully indulging mist of gluttony; the show is overtly critical of this biblical, patriarchal story, disguising itself with humour as the audience is reminded to be ‘sensitive’ as the story is one of religious nature. The audience is howling with laughter, all the way through. This show knows how to work a crowd; McCormick has us on board right from the start and doesn’t lose us for a second.
Costume is simplistic and extravagant all at once: Some lippy and a wig are applied, and McCormick is transformed into Mary Magdalene. She narrates the story for us, talking us through the New Testament, keeping us up to date with which scene she’s on. Her song choices are constantly full of surprises, as Mary Magdalene sings Justin Bieber’s ‘Is it too late now to say sorry / Cause I’m missing more than just your body’, right after the moment in the show when Christ’s body has vanished from its tomb.
The show concludes with McCormick asking the audience to help her crowd surf from the stage to the back of the theatre. And this happens. Surprisingly smoothly. This is testament to the show, which has spent an hour or so collecting the audience together, enabling us to work alongside each other to transport her through the air. Health and Safety sort of goes out the window, and it’s this exact sort of risk and risqué performance nature which gives the show its subversive twist. Every moment is intelligent, symbolic and concerned with the aesthetic nature of material presentation. The whole thing is a stunning, hilarious, explicit and talent-saturated work of art.
Review by Joseph Winer
Casting herself in all the main roles, Lucy attempts to reconnect to her own moral conscience by re-enacting the New Testament via a nu-wave holy trinity of dance, power ballads and absurdist art.
Directed by Ursula Martinez.
Triple Threat was commissioned by hÅb and Contact for Works Ahead, with support from Soho Theatre, Cambridge Junction and the Marlborough and funding from Arts Council England.
Read our exclusive interview with Lucy McCormick – Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat
Age Recommendation: Strictly 18+
Running Time: Approx 70mins
Mon 11 – Sat 16 Dec 2017, 9.45pm