Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A cultural relic of its time, the bible is hardly pro-women. Lucy McCormick, here incarnated as one of those vapid pop stars who evangelically (and often inappropriately) rallies for the cause they’re currently backing, wants to turn the spotlight on the new testament’s women. She focuses on their underwritten stories, their emotional involvement in Jesus’ life, and all the fingering and angel snogging that was left out of the text we know so well in Western culture.

Trashy, tasteless, obscene, and absolutely excellent, McCormick’s newest show pushes theatre to to limits of acceptability and beyond – any further and it would be pornographic (arguably it already is), though Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat is still not one for those easily offended. Accompanied by two muscly dancers in Calvins, her three-act play that she dutifully explains scene by scene is the story of Jesus Christ. She plays Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ mother Mary, and Jesus himself, with her backing dancers in the supporting roles. It’s also very funny, though laughter swells from amusement as much as it does from discomfort.

This gig-theatre piece is interspersed with appropriate pop songs at key moments of the story, accompanied by excellent dancing and raw emotional outbursts. Her personal life bleeds into the act as she slowly falls apart in the wake of the pressures of celebrity life. Take all of those public celeb breakdowns and multiply them by hundreds with a lot more nudity and mess, and you get something resembling the whirlwind of in-yer-face chaos that is Lucy’s stage persona in this piece.

Her commitment to her cause is unquestionable, but the fact that her character finds the actions that unfold acceptable is disturbing, yet all too familiar. That we can watch someone fall to bits with no dignity and laugh at their plight, righteously judging them, is a powerful comment on the levels of voyeurism and exhibitionism that are now bombard us through all of media’s incarnations.

Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat, for all its deliberate mess and audience discomfort, is a fantastically considered social commentary executed with precision and high levels of consideration and skill. It’s the epitome of fringe shows, and a great one at that.

Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat runs through 28th August.

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2 thoughts on “Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

  1. I’d like to disagree with the idea that “the bible is hardly pro-women”. The bible holds women as giving equal testimonies to truth as men (i.e. women were the first to see Jesus risen from the dead) and Jesus loved women with equal respect to men. He relied on the group of women around him throughout his time on earth (as this production seems to pick up on, if in a hyperbolic manner.) Jesus loved, healed and forgave numerous women who came to him in need. Indeed, Jesus seems to even prioritise and seek out those on the margins of first century society, including women and the poor (cf. Luke). All of these things were hugely counter cultural – radical – for the first century.

    I would also like to point out that for the billions of christians around the world the bible is hardly a cultural relic. Obviously I don’t mind that that’s your opinion at all, it would just be nice sometimes for people to realise that their opinion is different to many other people’s rather than stating it as fact; even if they hold the opinion of their own culture’s majority.

    In other news, this production sounds hilarious and this is a great write up. Hope you’re enjoying the Fringe!


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