Genesis /Golgotha brings together the stories of Eve - first woman on Earth - and Jesus of Nazareth in two complementary monologues. First up is Nancy Walsh as the great mother of all mankind, reminiscing about how life used to be in the beautiful Garden of Eden and the wonder of finding herself lying naked on the grass, newly-created.
Eve is quick to point out, though, that even the Garden wasn’t perfect. She rants at God for having left temptation lying around and even drawing attention to those forbidden trees as if willing his creation to sin. Life in paradise is actually pretty boring, apparently. Walsh is a masterful storyteller and cuts quite an Earth Mother figure, rooted to the spot in the middle of the stage in a long green dress.
After this account of Eden and the Fall from the mouth of the first woman herself, John Clancy’s performance comes as a sharp, provocative contrast. This dishevelled man on the stage, initially struggling to get his words out is Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, Pittsburgh. His colourful account of his own crucifixion mostly overlaps with the original Gospel version, excepting the madness and the blasphemy. He realised he was the Son of God, he explains, eyes wild, while touching the breasts of Mary Magdalene. It’s hard to tell if Clancy is being serious, or if his character is just plain insane, and this quickly becomes irritating. Nonetheless, Clancy’s humorous quips and dynamism keeps my attention fixed on him, curious to know what he will say next to deliberately undermine this sacred story.
This show has great potential to offend those who do hold the word of God to be holy, but there is something undeniably funny about an American Jesus with a tumultuous love life who wears ripped jeans.