Starting life off-off-Broadway, making it’s way to Broadway and, now, a West End transfer, ‘Hand to God’ is a funny and irreverent look in to the psyche.
Meet Jason, a deeply affected teen stuck in Christian puppetry class. He’s there because his recently widowed mother wants to serve the church – but “can’t sing or preach”.Jason is shy and haunted by his Fathers death, but his sock puppet Tyrone is far less inhibited. Spewing out expletive after expletive, we start to wonder is the puppet really possessed by Satan?
Harry Melling is incredible at portraying both these roles ‘Jeckyl and Hyde’ style, so much so, you might struggle to believe there isn’t another actor hiding backstage with a microphone. But there isn’t, This is not a ventriloquist act, we see Harry Mellings lips moving, that’s the point, after all Tyrone is Jason.
While mastering both these roles, Harry Melling also gives a wonderfully physical performance that, of course, involves operating a sock puppet. This is particularly funny when ‘Tyrone’ and a female sock puppet enjoy a VERY intimate moment together!
Janie Dee plays Jason’s mother, she is exceptional in the role and gives a high octane performance. Jemima Rooper plays, what could loosely be called, Jason’s love interest. She is remarkably funny and delivers each line perfectly.
Kevin Mains and Neil Pearson complete the line up, both giving equally funny performances that left the audience in stitches.
It’s a provocative piece of theatre, but much of that is unnoticed thanks to how funny it is, the humour is immature, but funny none the less.
Hand to God has the blasphemy of Book of Mormon without the catchy song and dance numbers, but it does have laugh-out-loud comedy and sock puppets having sex. See it at the Vaudeville theatre until 11th June 2016.