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

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

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 REZILLOS I Can’t Stand My Baby (Sensible FAB 18/77) If it wasn’t for T…