MAYBE the rotund and irreverent Bristol-based actor Howard Coggins is not EXACTLY how you picture God the Father.
Maybe Stu McLaughlin is not your perfect image of the Archangel Gabriel.
But suspend your disbelief and set off for Nazareth and Bethlehem in the company of Living Spit, to enjoy the familiar Christmas story in a new way.
God, bored with his omnipotence, wants a son. Gabriel floats an idea. God likes it. Gabriel delivers a message. The world as we know it is changed for all eternity.
These are the bare bones of Living Spit’s hilarious new show, which opened at the Salberg Studio at Salisbury Playhouse, and in which Howard and Stu play gods, kings, shepherds, carpenters, innkeepers, virgins and angels.
Their clever use of songs (God Only Knows which) and science (vaginal reconstruction), linked with the sort of “continuity” that hearkens to days of yore, make the whole thing even more hilarious. Audience participation brings out the brute in us all and exposes our lamentable marksmanship. But then WE don’t have the NRA.
If you are easily offended, maybe you should stay away. But if you are up for unholy fun, and can laugh at yourself and your preconceptions, this is the perfect pre-Christmas tonic.
Nativity is in Salisbury until 2nd December, and visits Sturminster Newton Exchange on Tuesday and Wednesday 5th and 6th December, The Watermill at Newbury on 7th, Theatre Shop at Clevedon from 8th to 30th December and the Ustinov Studio at Bath Theatre Royal from 3rd to 6th January.
Photograph by Paul Blakemore