J C Retro Revelry
Jesus Christ in Retrospect - 2000 years of art, fun, music drama and comedy. Staged at Muritai School Hall December 2nd-4th by The Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe.
Anyone who missed this show, missed a real treat. Sixteen items in all, each with its own appeal. It's not possible to mention them all, though every single one was worthy.
The 1940-50's Sunday School Chorus had great appeal as an opening scene. Two rows of children dressed appropriately for the era, sang the old choruses well known to so many 'Yes Jesus Loves Me', 'All Things Bright and Beautiful' and so on. Miss Wilhemina Wollowmin, alias Bill Wollerman, cunningly disguised in grey wig and bun and a sensible warm cloak, pedantically accompanied them on the piano.
The inevitable tambourine featured, as did the usual actions to songs. One child continually flung his hands up into the air with fervour, sometimes at the expense of the little girl alongside him.
Rebecca Williams had the audience in the palm of her hand with her excerpts from Jean Annouilh's 'The Lark'. The first was a soliloquy in which she answered the voices that were telling her to go and help the Dauphin fight the English. A vital Joan, earnest, na´ve and totally convincing.
'A Potted Life' gave an appreciative audience a different version of the life of Jesus. A familiar story, updated and wittily scripted by Florence McFarlane; new words set to familiar songs. It couldn't possibly offend. Slick performances especially by Dan Caddy (Jesus), humorous touches such as a five humped camel; add to all this, a vibrant, lusty chorus and you have the recipe for instant success. Original ideas, clever lyrics and the last superb touch of Jesus ascending to heaven on a ladder placed centre -stage by a bemused Stage Manager-Peter Hector.
Janis Caddy, in the extract from 'Agnes of God', convinced us she was, indeed, Mother Miriam, unshakeable in her concern for and commitment to Sister Agnes, a nun in her convent.
Gavin Dellabarca played the part of the idiosyncratic but accommodating Michelangelo, painter of 'The Last Supper'. The spanner in the works was the fact that in his picture there were 28 disciples, much to the Pope's (Trevor Rose) consternation. The artist's suggestion?- that the painting be renamed 'The Penultimate Last Supper'!
So many memorable moments; an interlude in Hell with a congenial Devil played by Jerry Duckor and a message 'From the Pulpit' delivered by Vicar John Marwick, whose sonorous voice served only to underscore the lack of substance in his message. Who could forget Alexander Hulme, accompanied by Dianne Alexander, singing Dorothy Buchanan's version of 'The Lord's My Shepherd'?
How refreshing to see old stories delivered in new ways. What a wealth of talent there is in The Bays! I'm a 'dead cert' to see the troupe's April production of 'The Winter's Tale'.