Holy Presents at Camden People’s Theatre
Sometimes it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. In their first show, Humanish remind us that it’s about Jesus cooking a roast, the Holy Ghost getting another shot at seducing the Virgin Mary and God performing the complete and unabridged works of Shakespeare.
Holy Presents is that special happening: a simple idea, well executed to great effect. Here, each member of the Holy Trinity is a humanette – a human head with a puppet body. The show’s three performers adroitly create a host of detailed and endearing caricatures thanks to larger-than-life facial expression and loving manipulation of their stuffed Babygro bodies and foam hands. The props and set are suitably adorable: a tiny kitchen worktop, toilet, and sofas as well as doll-sized Croc sandals. It’s a high-energy and superbly funny romp throughout which the actors look like they’re having as much fun as their audience.
We meet our characters on Jesus’s birthday. He’s cooking up a storm in the kitchen, ready to play host to Mary and Joseph. The Holy Ghost threatens to ruin things with his salacious designs on Mary, while God plans on subjecting them all to his yearly solo recital. Holy Presents nails the irksome minutiae of the inescapable family Christmas with a freshness and silliness that’s a delight to behold.
The familiar figures of Jesus, God and the Holy Ghost provide a bounty of comic material, and there is no shortage of quirky quips: “No room at the Premier Inn,” and “I used to walk on water; now I’m walking on Crocs.” God, with his outrageous eyebrows and enthusiasm for the Bard is especially fun to watch: “If I hadn’t been God I’d have been an ACTOOOR.” (Look out for other, more subtle, gems like the Holy Ghost’s rather poignant “Goodbye Obama” moment.)
Directed by Humanish founder Tara Boland and performed with true relish, this is a show that’s full of infectious humour and a harbinger of great things to come from this fledgling theatre company. More pressingly, this might be the only chance to meet God the thesp, Holy Ghost the pervert and Jesus the ecstatically cheery Welshman.
Holy Presents is at Camden People’s Theatre from 13th until 19th December 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for Holy Presents here: