Thursday, June 07, 2007

Not the Messiah Reviews in

Over on Filmchat, Peter Chattaway has a round up of reviews for the Premiere of Not the Messiah, the oratorio based on Monty Python's Life of Brian (last Friday). See Not the Messiah -- the premiere reviewed. Sounds pretty promising to me, e.g. see especially the comments by Robert Cushman of the National Post:
As well as being a filleted adaptation of the movie, the new piece functions as an homage to, or more frankly, an exploitation of, all things Python. For example: As is well known, Brian was born in a stable to the Non-Virgin Mary while a more momentous birth was taking place just next door. ("Is it A.D. yet?" "It's about a quarter to.") And There Were Shepherds -- that's the title of one of the numbers, if an oratorio has numbers. In it, the shepherds sing about how happy they are in their jobs because, simply, "we like sheep." They don't, they make it clear, have much time for any other variety of livestock. They are as enhusiastic about sheep as others have been known to be about Spam . . . .

. . . . But much of the evening's appeal undoubtedly depends on its sense of lesemajeste. I don't mean by that irreverence towards the Bible. The show begins with a rather heavy-handed anti-hymn, O God You Are So Big ("and we are garbage in your sight") and it retains the exhortations of Brian, the reluctant messiah, that his flock should learn to think for themselves. But this element is muted, and the music actually dilutes it.

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