‘NotMoses’, billed ‘A Comedy of Biblical Proportions’, is the story of ‘the other baby’ that wasn’t plucked out of the River Nile in a Moses basket. A somewhat farce, somewhat kind-of comedy, the play is Book of Mormon-esque but without the music (except for one joyfully out of place song in the curtain call).
Gary Sinyor’s theatrical debut has some funny moments, but no of the belly laughs expected once you’ve seen the tagline. It is, however, lighthearted and a delight to watch grown men and women roll around the stage in biblical clothing and fake facial hair. Carla Goodman’s simple design is enhanced by some stand out projections from Lola Post Production – together they keep scenes moving effortlessly and quickly, allowing a fast pace to the piece. Some nice comedy moments are seen in Joe Morrow’s Feripoti as he saunters around the stage with a 5 foot whip. Morrow’s act one final speech, as he gathered up some fallen facial hair was potentially the funniest moment of the play. Thomas Nelstrop, Moses, and Greg Barnett, NotMoses, have some nice moments together, and between them carry the show as everyone else effortlessly multi-role plays around them. An underused Leon Stewart as Rabbi/Lord would have delighted and humoured with more stage time.
Although the play doesn’t exactly have audiences rolling in the aisles in fits of laughter, it is a light hearted piece of entertainment. Moreover, the play does seem to have a higher purpose in that it provides a ironic look at the issues that the world faces today. Touching upon gender equality, politics, religion and pretty much every other problem in today’s society, it reflects and parodies our issues in a biblical send up. Danielle Bird, as Miriam, gives a home-hitting monologue towards the end of act two that would not be out of place in a modern day setting or political rally. The final moments of the company reeling off every possible name for ‘God’ highlights the importance of harmony across the world regardless of whatever we believe in.
Even though ‘NotMoses’ sets itself up to be nothing more than a comedy, it does have a notable place in today’s art and theatre scene in that it offers audiences a mirror to today’s world in which we live (without the parting of the sea bit). After all, isn’t art supposed to reflect life’s finest and not-so-finest moments?
Review by Marcus Hubbard
Tickets for £25 www.theatreperform.entstix.com
020 7836 8463
ARTS THEATRE, GREAT NEWPORT STREET, LONDON, WC2H 7JB