Following on from his previous run in Belfast, a spell in London’s West end, a tour of the US, and some dates in the Edinburgh Festival, Abie Philbin Bowman returns next week on 6 and 7 September to The Black Box in Belfast with Jesus: The Guantanamo Years.
You can catch my review of the opening night of his London run back in June. But to recap ...
The premise is that God has decided to return to earth to set the record straight and explain what Christianity is really about. Fans who meet up once a week for an hour in a specially made building to talk about how good he is may not have got the whole point.
Jesus’ previous comedy tours Jesus live on the Mount and the Miracle Tour (five thousand turned up) went down well with the crowds, so he’s offered to go back on the road for his father.
With only a stool, plastic cup of water and a mic to hide behind, a long-haired, bearded Jesus occupies the stage ... wearing Moses sandals and a bright orange jump suit.
Catching a flight to the US, Jesus runs up against Homeland Security who aren’t impressed with him
being born in Palestine, having a beard, no fix abode (though until recently lived with his father) ... and his Israeli record as a radical troublemaker willing to die for religion is the last straw.
So he’s shipped off to Guantanamo Bay.
I’m not sure if Judith Elliott will be popping up on Sunday Sequence or Arts Extra to review this show anytime soon, but if she does, it’ll be interesting to see what she says! The show takes few prisoners, so if you (and your faith) are easily offended, it’s not for you. But if you’re willing to look beyond the bluster and the sharp wit, you’ll find a comic using his talent to expose one of the shameful wonders of the modern world. And if you take the position that you shouldn't “refuse light from any quarter”, then you might ponder if Jesus would forgive Abie’s portrayal with a posh Dublin accent and join in the condemnation of Guantanamo?
Recommended. Well worth the £6 ticket price. It'll probably be worth it for Abie's attempt at a Belfast accent alone!
And maybe Abie will relax in the bar with his
followers friends and audience after the show in Belfast like he did in London!