Rod is God is the new comedy play from the makers and stars of Late Night Gimp Fight, the Fringe phenomenon that won a Chortle award for Best Sketch or Character Act last summer. With such illustrious talent involved expectations are naturally high; the problem with Rod Is God is that it doesn’t really deliver.
The show follows broke flatmates Rod and Jack as they create a cult with the sole aim of getting rich fast, setting Rod up as the God-like figurehead who must never show his face in public. Things spiral out of control fairly rapidly, spurred on by the entrance of PR man Cliff Daniels who sets out to sell this new cult to the world with seriously successful results.
There are some good lines and the clever use of projected video footage makes for an interesting approach, as does the economical use of the basic set. All three actors are competent, with Jack providing some of the best laughs fairly early on in the show. However, it’s when the fast-paced comedy of the earlier scenes makes way for more serious themes that things start to slip.
There are some genuinely dark moments - not necessarily a bad thing in a comedy - but Rod Is God makes little use of them other than as a lever to drive on the plot and force home moralistic points. Meanwhile, the unlikely character development of Jack - morphing from lazy layabout to charitable go-getter with astonishing rapidity - would be forgivable if it didn’t dry up the laughs. What begins as an all-out comedy changes into something more straight-laced and the change doesn’t really suit.
With an unsatisfactory ending and a baffling video cameo from Blake Harrison of Inbetweeners fame, you’ll leave with the impression the whole thing could have been a lot better.