Be Fruitful and Multiply

Wed 13th – Sat 16th June 2012

reviews

Arabella Langley

at 13:12 on 14th Jun 2012

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‘Be Fruitful and Multiply’ is an insight into the creation of the world, were it in the hands of a global corporation. Once we’ve been casually greeted by Al and Sam - 2012’s stand-ins for God and Satan - the company, dressed in Apple Inc. white, lead us through the simplified process of Earth’s manufacture, encouraging one to reflect trivially on cutting issues of the present day. Born from this innovative concept were all kinds of hilarious perspectives on parenting, differences in religion, sex, and cheating.

In the Garden of Eden, dressed in sunflower prints, Addy and Eva are revealed from behind a screen. The confusion and naivety portrayed by Jamie Budgett and L-J Keston is endearing and is a prime example of the effective symbolism used throughout the musical. The pair poke, clutch and explore each other with indifferent facial expressions, reminiscent of the intrigue that comes with adolescence and student life. With other action happening simultaneously onstage, their subtle diversion of our attention is characteristic of the wit layered throughout the script and direction. These blank sexual canvases - with beautiful vocal chords - were most entertainingly manipulated through melody, most memorably in a song dedicated to a peeled banana from ‘The Tree of Knowledge.’

It seemed that all spectators thoroughly enjoyed the songs for their crude and relatable lyrics, as well as their upbeat energy. The standard was very impressive, an incredible achievement for first year student songwriters Harry Zundel, Ollie Feather and Ronan Sheils. The lyrical talent was backed up by a strong sense of chemistry within the cast; a real sense of collaboration was evident as the punch lines rolled between actors, even when their characters where misbehaving.

The tension created by the fact that the fate of the world rests on the team’s shoulders allowed for some brilliant exaggerations. Establishing that your wife has been cheating with your co-worker, who happens to be the devil, for 7000 years is pretty big news.

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vida scannell

at 13:17 on 14th Jun 2012

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‘Be Fruitful and Multiply’ is a religious spoof which offers a refreshingly new take on the age old creation story. It tells the tale from the perspective of the ‘firm’ as they embark on the business project of constructing earth. It tackles fundamental issues, such as the ideas of choice and determinism, whilst simultaneously maintaining a light hearted and comedic atmosphere. The show describes itself as a ‘musical comedy,’ and with characters like Moe played by Ollie Gyani, and Lucinda played by Rose Wardlaw, it is definitely deserving of this title. Ollie was highly entertaining with his unbelievably animated facial expressions. Rose played the role of a cynical sex siren fabulously, most triumphantly during her solo in which she advises the character Eva that women must dominate in the world of sex. The sexual jokes and references throughout the show cut across all boundaries, leaving the audience in fits of laughter. A few highly amusing moments include the line, ‘let’s be frank, without a partner sex is just a wank,’ and the phallic image of Eva committing original sin by munching on a banana. ‘Be Fruitful and Multiply’ is full of awkward moments and hilarious one liners which continuously keep the audience entertained. The way in which the show manages to update the epic biblical story was particularly effective, using contemporary references to current affairs such as Amy Winehouse’s death and Obama’s presidency. Continual invitations to the audience to get involved as the ‘investors’ of project earth was also engaging. A particularly amusing moment was when Sam, played by Adam Farrell, took a photograph of someone in the audience, then swiftly commented on how ugly they were. The show was an uplifting experience, culminating in the finale when Lucinda saves the day and all problems are resolved. The entire cast share a big old group hug, and the songs that follow are cheerful and lively - in true musical style. Although uplifting, the storyline of the second half is much weaker than the first, following a vague idea that earth is on the brink of destruction. Nevertheless, it was still entertaining. On the whole the show manages to stay on the right side of religious ridicule, however there is one moment when it might have pushed this too far: The song which repeats the line ‘religion is only for fools’ seems slightly offensive. All in all however, ‘Be Fruitful and Multiply’ was absolutely hilarious, with great music and a super cast. The second half featured songs which really gave the cast a chance to show off their vocals, with Addy, played by Jamie Budgett, stealing the limelight. If you want to be entertained, laugh out loud, and can take a little bit of religious mockery with a pinch of salt, then this is a great one to watch.

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