Saturday, 14 December 2002

In The Beginning…. The Odd Testament, Dec 14, 2002

What: In The Beginning…. The Odd Testament by Short Attention Span
Where: Trades Hall
When: Wed to Sat until December 21, 2002
Time: 8pm
Bookings:   9685 5111
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Messing about with the Bible might be considered naughty but In The Beginning is a very sweet, entertaining show about some dysfunctional biblical couples.

Performers Alice Carter and Krisztian Bagin with director John Bolton blend speeches from The Old Testament with stories about Adam and Eve, Mr and Mrs Moses and Noah and wife.

The result is a short, witty, modern clown show with original songs by The Soubrettes and live music by Steven Lindsay .

The pair is dressed in scruffy, Eastern European 40's gear. Carter wears a gold top and feathered hat, Bagin a baggy green suit.

They might be World War Two Jewish migrants living in their run-down kitchen with laminex table and antique washing machine.

Bagin is a gifted comic performer with a mobile face and charming manner while the warm and voluptuous Carter carries a cabaret tune with great verve.

The show begins with day one of the universe. " Let there be light," Carter drones dryly like a bored cabaret singer and an off-stage God turns on a single globe.

Adam and Eve meet, fall in lust, naively investigate the Garden of Eden and all its treasures. Finally, they must contend with the drudgery of domestic life.

Bagin is hilarious as Adam trying to appease his over-worked wife. He tries valiantly and hopelessly to do the ironing to ease her load.

Ironic references to the biblical stories arise; "Adam, one day Cain is really going to hurt his brother," says Eve.

On Mount Sinai, Mrs Moses demands that Moses chisel her Ten Commandments in stone. "You will pay me a compliment at least once a week - and mean it."

Bagin clambering up the mountain clumsily hauling stones tablets is very funny physical comedy.

Director, Bolton, keeps the rhythm unpredictable and the visual and verbal gags coming fast.

Another element introduced part way into the show is the exotic cabaret singer, (Tania Kyriakou) who croons songs about love and survival. This character needs some further integration into the show.

In the Beginning is a happy, peppy piece that is worth a look and giggle. It certainly is the Odd Testament.

By Kate Herbert

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