Inch Bar, 8 Bank St, Northeast Valley, Dunedin

07/12/2016 - 09/12/2016

Production Details

“A promiscuous archangel, a wise man with multiple personality disorder, a psychotic King, a desperate donkey, a smitten shepherd, one dodgy innkeeper, and some knocked-up virgin and her baffled fella. Put them all together on one bill and you’ve got eight versions of the greatest story ever told, by those who were there, in monologue … up close and personal.

This is no silent night – It’s Christ Almighty!” – Theatreview

Counterpoint are pleased to announce the final show of their 2016 pop-up season, Christ Almighty!

Performed by a revolving cast of actors, audiences will be treated to a fresh cast configuration every night- featuring man Counterpoint favourites from over the years as well as a few fresh faces. This production is for audiences 18 years and over, come along and see the classic nativity story in a whole new light.

“We’ve opted for a very experimental approach to the rehearsal and production process, allowing for the actors to take point and present their talents in fresh and surprising ways. Not a single person involved in this production (even the creative team) will know exactly how every performance will play out.” – Counterpoint 2016

Christ Almighty! plays at Inch Bar, North Dunedin
December 7, 8 and 9
Show starts at 7.30pm and has a 20 minute interval
Free entry/koha donation
Limited seating available- so get in early.
Profits will be donated to Women’s Refuge  

Theatre , Sketch ,

Starts on a high note and ends upbeat and sweaty

Review by Hannah Molloy 08th Dec 2016

Counterpoint Productions’ Christ Almighty is hilarious. Performed in a tiny space in a corner of local haunt Inch Bar, the cast has to pick their way through the packed in audience to the miniscule stage and they make full use of this opportunity for audience interaction! 

Inch bar is a small bar at the best of times but it is packed to the gunnels with a mixed crowd of mostly women (perhaps the men are just late as there seem to be a few peeking through from the doorway). People are perched on kegs and on cushions sprinkled sparsely on the floor, wedged in. The crowd seems to have an innate disregard for personal space anyway – I have someone sitting on my foot and someone else leaning on my leg. The show lends itself to this kind of intimacy and no one appears to mind, even as the room becomes steamier.

Christ Almighty, written by Natalie Medlock and Dan Musgrove, and directed by Alison Embleton and Jordan Dickson (who is to be congratulated for his recent Emerging Talent 2016 award at the Dunedin Theatre Awards) is an unusual take on the nativity story, told from a variety of perspectives: the Archangel Gabrielle (definitely NOT Gabriel), the donkey, Herod, the three wise men, a shepherd, the innkeeper and of course the expectant parents. The characters have very distinct and completely bonkers personalities which the actors draw neatly and with fantastic humour. 

The format of the work is a series of monologues by the various characters who could be considered to play a role in the birth of Christ and the establishment of organised religion. Harrison Kennedy opens with a diatribe as the innkeeper at whose establishment the family has arrived. He is just thoroughly pissed off about the whole situation and sets up the rest of the show with his quirky facial expressions and a strong sense of ill-usage. The audience is laughing from the start.

Mikayla Cahill plays a petulant, saucy Archangel Gabriel(le), a self-described asexual eunuch who chose the tits and ran – always a good choice! Cahill sounds a little like a teacher explaining a story to a slightly stupid class of children and her eye contact with audience members is nothing short of a challenge. I think her part is played beautifully as she winds her way through the layers of wronged girlfriend cliché, pulling surprised and very appreciative laughs at every moment. Her simulated (I assume …) orgasm draws roars of appreciation from the crowd.

The whole cast brings their different strands of personality and humour to the performance. It feels cohesive and fluid and as though they have enjoyed working together to develop the production. Herod (Shaun Swain) is completely nuts; the donkey (Luke Major) petulant but understandably so; the shepherd (Mac Veitch) innocently sleazy (is that a thing?); and Joseph (Zac Nicholls) kind of nasty and unlikeable. The standouts, however (I’m picking favourites), are Orion Carey-Clark’s Three Wise Men and Kat Kennedy’s Mary.

Carey-Clark has an extra twinkle in his eye and an exuberance about his character’s split personality that is hard to look away from – and I’m not talking about the tiny, soothsaying, conveniently crystal-encrusted underpants.

Kennedy’s Mary is absolutely drippy and nice – a complaint several of the other characters have been making about her – and it is perfect. You simply couldn’t imagine the Holy Spirit taking advantage of a more naïve, innocent drip. (And her portrayal of a labour pain in the middle of a sentence is perfect – it takes me right back!)

There are a couple of moments where I find myself wondering if I am being subtly and very cleverly converted and I think you could probably use this script to draw a new demographic into the church. Something to think about perhaps.

The audience is definitely there for a good time and thoroughly embraces the show, joining in with a Christmas hymn at the end. The show starts on a high note and ends upbeat and sweaty. The company is donating profits to Women’s Refuge so it’s a good way into the Christmas season. I hope lots of people see this show.


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