King’s Head Theatre romps its way into the summer with fun and games in HOLY CRAP as it takes an irreverent look at God TV. The evening is amiably kicked off by the resident artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher and his wee dog, Tickets. It is a nice touch as it enhances the warm, friendly, welcoming atmosphere of the place – and who can blame him if he tries to sell something along the way!
An all white set belies the fact that the darker forces will be more on display than the lighter ones. White lies and bad deeds will prevail as this God TV channel has a twist in its tale. Our protagonist, dressed in white from toe to Stetson (even his teeth seem to shimmer) delivers a thrusting performance from the word go with the idea that to win “gutless British” customers (unused to pay-to-view TV) the channel requires less prayers and more porn! Sex sells!
Benji Sperring directs with pace and the fun rolls along with innuendo and blatant banter in equal measures. Rickey Long is musical director and leads a tight trio and company that sing with gusto – holding harmonies with style as in the opening number Beam Down Your Love. It is moments like these that the Heather Brothers capture the joy of sin, salvation and sacrilege with their wit and bawdy cheek. It seems as if the Heather Brothers may have another hit on their hands. There are moments in the first act where judicious editing may give the piece even more cut and thrust – having said that the crowd around me were lapping it up – with gags like, “Mary Magdalen, the early years”– who can blame them as sin and repentance clash in a raucous, lewd way.? For God TV even “Love Thy Neighbour “is filled with possibilities when the Heather brothers are in charge.
With strong voices (well balanced for the space) along with high energy performances the company delivered. In particular Rachel Marwood and John Addison preened and prayed their way to debauchery and back. The soulful voice of Letitia Hector as Destiny reminded us that not everyone has to follow the crowd as she raises concerns about deviating from the one true message, as distraction turns to obsession and ultimately intolerance. There is a message in here somewhere as the God squad seek to condemn, pursue and destroy but the Brothers keep it light a fluffy to the end (even if there is a pizza box containing the head of some unlucky Italian) and the piece romps to a feverish repentant close.
There may quibbles about the production but I would suggest you take this revue style entertainment for what it is – HOLY CRAP is laugh and a great night out, especially if you are with your mates!
HOLY CRAP runs at the Kings’s Head until July 8th – get along and see it.