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Jesus Christ! It’s Jesus – New Theatre – Review

Jesus Christ! It's Jesus

Jesus Christ, It’s Jesus runs at the New Theatre – Nov 10th – 15th @ 7.30pm – Tickets: €15 (€12 conc.)

The town of Ballytrevor is like any other in Longford. When they receive a letter that says it is from Jesus Christ, they are initially skeptical, but when they realise that there was no stamp on the letter, they start to take it more seriously! The letter says that Jesus will arrive in a few days and wants to see the progress that humans have made since he last visited. There is no talk of the end of the world or anything of that nature. The town folk begin to prepare and a representative of the Vatican arrives to check out the validity of the outlandish claim. When Jesus does arrive, he is not what was expected!

The setting for the play is the town hall in Ballytrevor, and it is captured well with the variety of junk on the floors and walls of the small stage. It is a simple enough set, with a couple of tables and some fold out chairs but there are some nice touches in the odds and ends. While not every scene works, there are more than enough jokes to keep you smiling throughout. The  main premise and the way people react to the impending arrival of Jesus is questionable, but the comedic nature of the story allow you to suspend your disbelief.

This is an unusual new production that covers a lot of ground, while keeping the tone light-hearted. The first few scenes are played purely for laughs, with a simple representation of small town Ireland. There is more than a nod to Father Ted with the comedy and acting style. After the interval though, the introduction of Jesus alters the course of the play and adds depth to the proceedings. The characters open up to this individual and ask a number of difficult questions.

The production examines the role of the church in modern Ireland, along with the level of corruption amongst politicians and a number of other difficult topics.  The Jesus character is used as a clever device to allow the other characters to talk about their deepest fears and share things they would with no one else. This is something of a rough diamond, there are moments that don’t quite hold together, while others that are quite captivating.

Jesus Christ, It’s Jesus runs at the New Theatre – Nov 10th – Nov 15th @ 7.30pm – Tickets: €15 (€12 conc.)

Written and Directed by Rua O’Donnachu
Produced by Andrea Cleary

Cast
Nathan Gordon
Darren Killeen
Cal Kenealy
Fiona Lucia McGarry
Jennifer Meade
Sean Gallagher
Dan Keogh
Robert Harrington

Lighting Designer
Susannah Cummins

Stage Manager
Terena Rogers

Set Designer
Martin Cahill

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