May 24, 2013

The God Boy

The best word I can find to describe The God Boy is disturbing. It makes you wriggle in your seat and stays with you long after, but maybe I identified with it more than others. A Catholic upbringing in small town New Zealand in the 1950's doesn't seem that far removed from my own in the 1980's. What's right, what's wrong and what the neighbours see are often in conflict.

I have not read the novel (by Ian Cross) which the play is based on. It has been compared to Catcher in the Rye and is lauded as a New Zealand classic. With a juvenile narrator it called to mind, for me, To Kill a Mockingbird; so much of the story must be understood in the places between the narration. The books were only three years apart in publication so a lot of the societal norms would have been similar also.

George Fenn did an amazing job as the protagonist Jimmy. I have no idea how he managed to remember so many lines! The whole show necessarily hinged on his performance. With a single look he portrayed such innocence, such faith that it was heartbreaking to watch the story unfold around him.
A single look portrays such innocence. Courtesy of Stagecraft
I saw the show with a friend who was probably more upset by the subject matter than me but came out of it wondering what the point was. There is only a blink of action, the story is not fast paced, there is in fact little of what people expect from entertainment today. But what there is is thought provoking and heart wrenching. If you want simple entertainment than perhaps this isn't the show for you but if you want something that makes you feel, for the characters, for your own (lost) innocence then check this play out. I'd love to hear other peoples thoughts on the performance.

Performances: 22-25 May  8 pm, Sunday 26th 3 pm, 28-29 May 6.30 pm, 30 May-1 June 8 pm
You can buy tickets here $22
You can find out more about this production here

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