Directed by Paul Nelson with permission from Josef Weinberger
In the beginning there was chaos, but why stop there? This is an affectionate, irreverent rollercoaster ride from first fig leaf to Final Judgement. In just over 90 minutes, 3 performers will tackle, and finally answer, the great theological questions of our time.
There are no scheduled performances of this production.
DORSET THEATRE REVIEWS THE BIBLE: THE COMPLETE WORD OF GOD (ABRIDGED) – ARENA THEATRE – Village Hall, Lytchett Matravers – 30.11.13 The Reduced Shakespeare Company, founded by Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, are mainly known for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). Their goal is simple, hilariously compress a large collection of information into an hour and a half, in this case the books of the Old Testament in the first act and the New Testament in the second act. The play starts with Adam and Eve then goes all the way to the final judgment Everything is presented via funny sketches, humorous dialogue, songs, and audience participation. The show starts with an introduction by the three performers, who will be leading you on this magical journey. There's Sarah Bernardes who seems to be the zaniest of the three, Lotte Fletcher-Jonk whose obsession with Noah might not be such a good thing as this led to me being on stage as part of the animals going in two by two – I think I was supposed to be a Cod or was it a Trout or maybe a Dolphin, I never did really know. Finally there's Bethany Harris who decides a children's Bible story book is the best way for her to make you understand the Bible. The chemistry between these three actors was apparent throughout the show and all three actors deserve accolades for their performances which were second to none. The pace was kept up from beginning to end which was no mean feat and the audience found themselves laughing throughout the entire show and in fact I was still chuckling all the way home as was my friend who actually texted me later to say she was still laughing. I think my two favourite bits were seeing Lotte dressed as a rabbit and the final song and dance with top hats and canes - although there were so many parts which even now stay in the mind that it is difficult to pick just one or two. The goal of this production is to have fun, and it most certainly succeeds mainly due to the astonishing versatility of the three actors and the sure direction of Paul Nelson. I urge you not to miss it. Further performances: Shaftesbury Arts Centre, Friday December 6th, for tickets call 01747 854321, Mowlem Theatre, Swanage Saturday December 7th, for tickets call 01929 422239, Athenaeum Centre, Warminster Saturday January 18th, for tickets call 01985 213891, The Exchange, Sturminster Newton Saturday February 1st, for tickets call 01258 475137 and Bournemouth Little Theatre, Bournemouth, for tickets call 07528536899 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.All shows start at 8pm. Lyn Richell
I have a confession to make – I have never read the Bible; there I said it, and I might even go to Hell. But it would appear I am not the only one. In fact, only one member of the audience present at Arena Theatre’s opening night tour of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) could actually say they had read it cover to cover when we were posed with this very question tonight, and I never actually thought the day would come when I would regret not having done so. That being said, you do not have to have read the Bible from cover to cover to enjoy this show. The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) doesn’t have a plot per se, but is instead a very witty, insightful and alternative look at the stories of the Bible. And it isn’t like one of those spoof movies, where if you haven’t seen the film you don’t get the joke. The show itself consists of just three “characters” who in actual fact play themselves. They, through the use of props, songs, sketches and audience participation (that’s right, audience participation) go about telling their own version of events from the Bible. And let me tell you that tonight we were treated to three performances of the highest calibre. Sarah Bernardes, Lotte Fletcher-Jonk and Bethany Harris have all done director Paul Nelson proud. Fast paced and lively throughout, the deliveries, timing and characterisations from each of the performers amounted to a show that was wonderfully energetic and hilariously funny from beginning to end. I could not fully describe to you in words the hard work and effort that must have gone into putting this fabulous show together. The minimal use of costume, set and lighting only went to highlight the strength of each performance. It would be improper of me not to congratulate Sarah, Lotte, Bethany and Paul on their prop handling. Never have I seen a show use so many and with so very little time in between. The fact that the pace never drops is tribute to the clever directing and expert use. I do have one small criticism - and its testament to how good this show was that I am even mentioning it - and that was that the backing track for the last number was a little too loud which meant some of the words were lost. Almost irrelevant, and I’m sure so easily sorted that no one will lose any sleep over it. The real shame was that there were not more people there to see it. This was most evident during the audience participation; when more than half the audience are up on the stage you know it hasn’t been the best turnout. It may be that people were put off because of the cold. I just hope that people are not put off because of the subject matter – I promise you, this show will and should be enjoyed by one and all, whether you are religious or not, or have any other persuasion for that matter. It will not offend, it will not preach, but it will make you laugh, it is brilliantly performed, expertly directed and should not to be missed! And like I said before you don’t need to have read the Bible in full, but you may just want to after this, I know I did! Arena did not have the tour dates for The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) in their program, but if you do what I did and check out their website at www.arena-theartre.co.uk you will see that they will also performing at the following venues: Fri, 06 Dec 2013 20:00 at Shaftesbury Arts Centre; Sat, 07 Dec 2013 20:00 at The Mowlem Theatre, Swanage; Sat, 18 Jan 2014 20:00 at Athenaeum Theatre, Warminster; Sat, 01 Feb 2014 20:00 at Sturminster Newton Arts Centre; Sat, 22 Feb 2014 20:00 at Bournemouth Little Theatre. Please go and see this show. It would be the ultimate sacrifice of time, effort and talent if this wonderful evening of entertainment was not enjoyed by one and all. Peter Burdon