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A CurtainUp London London Review
The God of Soho

We have the privilege to speak the language of Will-Eye-Am Shakespeare Init! — Natty
The God of Soho
Phil Daniels as Big God and Miranda Foster as Mrs God (Photo: Simon Kane)
The Globe's new plays took an upturn for the very much better with last yearís Anne Boleyn but I wish I could find the other new work as stimulating. The lengthy historical epics I have enjoyed but the descent into the basest parts of Londonís street life can be problematic.

It may be a hilarious evening for those on a sole visit to the wonderful space that is the recreation of the Jacobean theatre on the South Bank of the Thames but for we tired theatre hacks, the modern new play offering has little to offer other than cheap laughs and tawdry spectacle. It may be that The Globe is searching for the equivalent of the Elizabethan/Jacobean crowd pleasing slice of Tudor/Stuart life comedy but for my money they have not yet found it.

In his interview with Heather Neill in the theatre programme Chris Hannan likens his central characters Natty (Emma Pierson) and her boyfriend Baz (Edward Hogg) to "a celebrity couple who fight each other on the front pages of the tabloids and whose existence as celebrities depends on publicity." I searched the same programme for the helpful synopsis always given with the Shakespearean plays to no avail. Whereas I on the whole donít need the synopsis for the Shakespeares, for The God of Soho I felt I had not only failed to follow the plot but lost it as well.

The God of Soho is lavishly dressed with cream togas and Turkish trousers and lots of bling including gold painted Doc Martenís footwear. Even Mrs Godís (Miranda Foster) colostomy bag is gold and designer, on view, "post modern" she explains, although she is not just a fashion victim but also one of trumpeting, cardboard ripping wind. Probably not amusing to those who have no choice but to wear a colostomy bag, though. The Globeís red marbled columns have been given a pale beige marbled makeover, about the most tasteful addition to the stage. I liked too the King Porter Stomp band musical contribution.

Phil Daniels plays Big God. He is an actor with great comic range but actors need great words. There are some good one liners in Chris Hannanís script. I think my favourite is Edwardoís (Richard Clews) " Death, Terror, Shit and Bewilderment, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse." Death is what I longed for as the play got into its third hour, Terror is what I would feel at having to sit through this again, Shit: Well what can you say? And Bewilderment sums up my comprehension of the storyline. Be warned parents! The simulated anal sex and the full body nudity may not be what you would wish the children to see! Could The God of Soho become cult?

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The God of Soho
Written by Chris Hannan
Directed by Raz Shaw

Starring: Phil Daniels, Miranda Foster, Edward Hogg, Emma Pierson, Iris Roberts, Jade Williams, William Mannering
With: Michael Camp, Richard Clews, Sarita Piotrowski, Beatriz Romilly, Phineas Pett, Kay Jay Simmons.
Design: Hannah Clark
Choreographer: Ann Yee
Globe Associate Movement: Glynn McDonald
Composer: Alex Silverman
Running time: Two hours 30 minutes including an interval
Box Office: 020 7401 9919
Booking to 30th September 2011
Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge based on 1st September 2011 performance at the Globe, New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT (Rail/Tube: London Bridge/Southwark/Mansion House)

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