3 stars ***
Assembly George Square (Venue 3)
THERE’s a lot of anger with God around on this year’s Fringe. In show’s like The Events at the Traverse, or There Has Possibly Been An Incident at Northern Stage, artists rage against the cruelty of creation, and at the way it seems oddly poised between a mighty gift, a cruel experiment, and an increasingly bad joke.
John Clancy’s new twin monologues about the ways of God to man, spoken by Eve the mother of humankind and by a modern-day Jesus Christ living and dying in Pittsburgh, capture that mood with terrific force. Clancy’s own performance of the second monologue, Golgotha, sometimes slips towards a wild poetic incoherence in its evocation of an angry, disillusioned 21st century Christ roaming the sour streets of the city.
The first, though – titled Genesis, and magnificently performed by Nancy Walsh as a wild-haired, green-clad, motherly Eve – is a memorable, lucid and often beautiful account of the battle of the wills between the capricious creator, and a woman who increasingly refuses to be drawn into God’s little games of guilt, to judge herself by his peculiar and blatantly sexist standards, or to collude in his bizarre decision to create a species in his own image, and then punish it – and its womenfolk above all – for its curiosity, its spirit of invention, and its precious power of independent thought.