Ellie is a schoolgirl with a very bright future ahead of her. When told by the voice of St Peter that she is the Messiah, her world began to change rapidly. Is everything all that it seems?
Extremely enjoyable to watch
The True Story of the Little Girl Who Thought She Was The Second Coming of Jesus Christ had elements to it that were reminiscent of Monty Python's The Life of Brian with some of the energetic physicality portrayed by Romy, as well as comedy moments that included breaking the fourth wall to remind us it was a story being portrayed and not 'actually real' as Romy cheekily reminded us. The characterisation of Romy carried us on a journey of self discovery as a person, as well as spiritually with such enthusiasm that it was hard not to connect with her as she dealt with bullies, a teacher called 'Mr Loud' and a desperate desire to get into the school play. Having the belief of being the Messiah made the performance well rounded, as she was able to play with the possibility of self belief that she could achieve all she wanted to.
There were a couple of occasions where it was not clearly depicted what character she was playing. For instance, a boy at school she fancied seemed like it was just an extension of Romy and not a separate character. This however should evolve over time as Romy grows with more confidence in her ability as a performer.
Sadly, this production was let down structurally by the script in the first half. When using the technique of breaking the fourth wall as a narrator, it can be a great way of engaging the audience and bringing a certain energy to a play such as this. Unfortunately, what didn't work in particular was the jarring usage of switching between a first and third person style narrative. This was due to the fact that whilst it was clear the story had to be shared with us, it would have worked better had the narrative stayed with first person to make it a lot more personal and easier to keep track of. It seemed a bit distracting going swiftly from one to the other.
Also, there was one element that was too long in length. This showed Ellie getting more and more frustrated by every day routines by using Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus as a background, with several images on a screen behind her and a lot of repetitive actions, until Ellie couldn't take much more of the monotonous lifestyle ahead of her, with no sign of St Peter. If it had been cut down a little, we would have had a more intense impact of the scene that evolved.
Luckily, the second half rectified itself by becoming a stronger, tighter and smooth running show, which was extremely enjoyable to watch. With a few more tweaks, this could be a show that has a good future ahead of it.