Tuesday, August 19, 2014

taking stock as week 3 begins


It’s the beginning of week 3 of the Fringe. I really must take stock.

It’s hard to. It’s so strange: I’ve had so many shows on the Fringe before, and so many on the main Festival, too, and I really should be used to it by now.

It’s the openness of the Fringe, way back in 1980, that enabled me to see myself as a playwright.

And it’s that same openness now, 34 years later, that has enabled me to see myself as an actor.

I’ve never done this before - played in a run of performances - and I have to say I love it. 

That’s the first discovery.

I’ve never had such an incredibly positive response either.

Someone in the audience took the trouble to write:

"Jo's words transcend the constraints and boundaries of easily digested and canned spirituality, oppressive belief systems and dogma. Her gospel according to Jesus the Queen of Heaven is deeply moving and allows the audience to connect with the essence of what it means to be human. Love, tolerance and kindness are the core messages of her magical sermon. Go, see this show and open yourself up to the possibility of a queer affirmative Christianity where diversity triumphs above homogeny, bigotry and hatred. It's been a true blessing to be in the presence of someone as inspiring as her and I am grateful for her courage to share her voice..."
which moves me profoundly.
The other reviews have been beautiful too:
"The silence and reverence that the space induces among us is put to brilliant use and Clifford’s words resonate long after the echoes have faded.

Entering Clifford’s “queendom of heaven” is a thought-provoking, moving and uplifting experience. This is a show that that demands to be seen."

http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/the-gospel-according-to-jesus-queen-of/701214


"Clifford is practising what she preaches and her Gospel is less theatrical than it is spiritual; a vital reminder of religion’s real heart, rather than the rules and rites that so often obscure it."
https://www.festmag.co.uk/theatre/102491-the_gospel_according_jesus_queen_heaven

And I’m getting a bit bored of quoting reviews, which is perverse of me, but this one made me laugh:

"The flowing white dress, sassy jacket and red converse sneakers are the perfect get up for this JC, who lights a few candles and sips tea from a thermos flask while telling the audience how they were once all miracle baby Jesuses who still have the power to bring light into this dark world. Her earthly groundedness makes the listeners perfectly willing to go along with her, even if it looks like spiritualist twaddle when read from a computer screen.
If anything is the matter with Jo Clifford’s sermon, it’s that it can get a bit preachy at times. But hey. She’s Jesus."
http://www.theskinny.co.uk/theatre/edinburgh_festivals_2014/308783-the_gospel_according_jesus_queen_heaven_artspace_st_marks
And it’s even more perverse of me to say I’ve never had so few reviews. Or done such bad business at the box office.
But sitting here thinking I’ve another week to do it all again makes me feel very happy.



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