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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