Skip to main content

Godspell

Theatre Royal, Glasgow
2 stars
Any play that gave Jeremy Irons a career is surely damned forever more. Given that we don’t even get ex Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, who left this touring revival of John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz’s 1971 God-bothering musical for ‘contractual reasons,’ any chance of lightning striking twice is slim.

Because the pre-Christmas rush seems to have caused commercial theatre-land to go mad in its eagerness to offload every turkey in the shop. Paul Kerryson’s naff-looking production is as far removed from the play’s not quite counter-cultural roots at La Mama and The Roundhouse as you can get. The stripy-jumpered post-1960s flower-power whimsy captured in the sweet but hopelessly dated 1973 film version at least pursued a simplistic line of philosophical enquiry. Like a water-into-wine reversal, however, here the disciples have morphed into a troupe of twenty-first century X-Factor rejects desperate to show how versatile they are.

The parables are duly reeled out in a succession of sit-com silly voices and painfully shoehorned in Glasgow gags. Any Hallelujahs in the show’s easy-on-the-eye briskness come via a dusted-down Bacharachesque Day By Day. All Good Gifts, on the other hand, sounds peculiarly and not unappealingly reminiscent of The Wicker Man soundtrack.

One shouldn’t expect miracles, though, from a show that can’t yet muster a full set of disciples, and, with a saviour looking like a particularly angelic rent boy upstaged by a butch Judas in black leather waistcoat, this is school assembly stuff. By the time the crucifixion comes round you’re feeling the pain for all the wrong reasons. If anyone is saved here in a show unlikely to rise again, it’s Stephen Gately. Small mercies indeed.

The Herald, November 21st 2007

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug