Adam & Eve and Steve

In the beginning it all seemed so straightforward. There was God, who had made the earth and everything in it. He was now all set to form Adam, who would have control over his creation, and his companion, Eve, because it was not right that Adam should be lonely in the garden. As man and woman they would live happily together and populate the earth. There had been a slight hitch in heaven with a troublesome angel, Beelzebub, but he'd been thrown out and consigned to another place.

Adam & Eve and Steve is absolutely a show to see, not only as a piece of satisfying entertainment but also for its ability to challenge both socially and theatrically.

Still having some power, however, Beelzebub sees an opportunity for revenge. In the moment of Eve’s creation he makes her into ‘him’, whom he calls St Yves; the beginning of number of French usages in which he delights. For his plan to work, God counters this intrusion and goes ahead with a second, and this time successful, attempt to create Eve, whereupon, to avoid confusion, St Yves become Steve.

Director, Francesca Goodridge, has successfully brought together a talented team to create a show that is excellently cast, musically sound and very well performed.

The deep tone of Michael Christopher’s voice of God resonates with authority befitting his status. He also demonstrates delightful versatility during his incarnation for a song and dance routine with Beelzebub, who rises to the challenge of the cabaret-style opening number. Stephen McGyll clearly relishes this role and his control of much of the action, almost in the style of music hall host, keeps the production moving. Tribute here must also go to musical director, Tom Chester, who is rightly given a place on stage, and whose keyboard accompaniment is talented, energetic and enthusiastic.

Roberta McKeown’s almost pantomime-style, fairyland set perfectly fits the light-hearted bill with lots of leaves, just a of few of which she has used to make the costumes for the eponymous leads who appear like models off a cat-walk. Whatever qualities were looked for in casting Adam, Joseph Robinson has them; maybe his next part will be Adonis! There has to be a certain air of physical perfection about God’s creations and it continues with the arrival of Dale Adams as Steve and Hayley Hampson as Eve. Yet heaven forbid this should only be about beautiful bodies, for we all know that lust is a deadly sin; let’s observe that this trio works beautifully together. Adam is really happy with Steve and Steve clearly sees a lot in Adam. Having not yet eaten of the forbidden fruit just how much they like each and why is a mystery to them, but when Eve yields to temptation everything soon becomes very clear. This happy ménage à trois is soon ravaged by jealousy.

There are times when a soft Welsh accent can lend much to a character and Joseph Robinson’s gives a delightfully endearing innocence to his portrayal of the confused Adam. Indeed, one of the joys of this show is to hear voices that are sufficiently powerful and well-projected as not to need microphones, with the lyrics of the songs so clearly enunciated that we are able to follow their message with ease. While much of the show is joyous and fun the cast also takes us into the depths of sadness, loneliness and heartache, with some particularly poignant laments from Dale Adams and Joseph Robinson. Hayley Hampson also sensitively portrays Eve’s darker, softer moments but for the most she positively asserts that her character is not one to be messed with and that she will have her way in the end.

Script writer, Chandler Warren, has come over from Los Angeles to assist with this production, which he wrote with composer Wayne Moore. He happily describes it as a ‘musical farce’. For some that definition will be problematic, for although light-hearted, Adam & Eve and Steve deals with complex and serious religious and moral issues that profoundly touch the lives of many people. There is a quirkiness to this work which left me wondering precisely what it is. The show received at least four 5* reviews and several awards, including Best New Musical, at the 2015 Los Angeles Fringe, attesting to its quality. In Edinburgh, attempts to update the humour and include contemporary British references often fall flat. No doubt, as the run continues, those that work will be retained and others discarded for new ones.

Adam & Eve and Steve is absolutely a show to see, not only as a piece of satisfying entertainment but also for its ability to challenge both socially and theatrically.

Reviews by Richard Beck

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The Blurb

Five-star musical farce based on the biblical Adam and Eve story, which is interrupted when the Devil adds Steve to the mix to create fun, mischief and mayhem. Adam and Eve and Steve get tangled and fight to unwind as they all try to figure out the many definitions that love has to offer. Winner of Best New Musical at the Hollywood Fringe 2015. ‘Deliriously funny!’ (BroadwayWorld.com). ‘Tuneful, heartwarming, and hysterically funny!’ (Edge Magazine). ‘Extremely funny!’ (NohoArtsDistrict.com). ‘Absolutely fabulous’ (StageSceneLA.com). ‘Funny and catchy!’ (LATheatreBeat.com).

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