Five Reasons to See ... Jesus - The Wasted Years
Writer Robert Meakin tells us why we should get along to see his new play Jesus - The Wasted Years, which opens next week at Islington's Old Red Lion Theatre (26 May 2009).
1) It's a new play about the most famous family of all - that of God and Jesus. Set in the present day, all is not well in the Kingdom of Heaven. Bored and disillusioned, Jesus is a drunk, regularly embarrassing himself in public, while an increasingly doddery God appears more out of touch than ever.
2) This show is a comedy. Hopefully a very funny one. Due to the subject matter, I'm told some people will be offended. However, more importantly I think it touches on a range of relevant issues, ranging from human failings, to modern media culture, politics and that old chestnut, love.
3) We're very lucky to have assembled a fantastic cast. Andrew Neil, who also directs, plays (an admittedly very Scottish!) God. He's been in the business 40 years, and has taught some of our best known actors, as well as acting and directing himself. He's simply one of my favourite performers, and as a punter, I'd happily pay to see him on stage as the Lord for 80 minutes!
4) If you come and see the show, I doubt you will be bored. As I say it's 80 minutes long with no interval. The story moves at some pace, and also includes some fantastic new musical numbers composed by Adrian Colborne. They are performed by the very beautiful Miss Tempest Rose who plays the mysterious Falling Angel. She's fast establishing herself as one of the country's top burlesque performers, and certainly gives the show a wonderful, extra dimension.
5) Among those who saw a recent showcase performance of the play in Highbury was Ray Galton, one half of the Galton and Simpson writing team, behind comedies like Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son. His is an opinion I'm obviously going to listen to! I'm relieved to say Ray liked it a great deal, (unless he's a very talented liar, of course!). He's been very supportive of the show since, which has been great from my point of view.
Jesus - The Wasted Years runs at the Old Red Lion from 26 May to June 13 2009.