False Idol

FatG: Fringe at the Gryphon, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

06/03/2024 - 09/03/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Creator - Andy Manning

What if God isn’t gay enough for you? Andy Manning had a conversation with God at a Christian music festival when they were 14 and thought they’d found something to believe in. They were wrong. But after they came out as queer and nonbinary, they discovered that God really was inside them all along. Now they worship a new god: their own divine self.

In False Idol, award-winning multi-instrumentalist Andy preaches a rousing musical sermon at the altar of gender euphoria, queerness, and shameless self love. With songs like ‘God is Jerking Off Too’ and ‘No One’s Gonna Hate You As Much As You Hate Yourself,’ it’s just like going to church, only funner and sexier. Learn to love the sin AND the sinner, savour the forbidden fruit, and BE YOUR OWN GOD.

Gryphon Theatre
22 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
6th – 9th March 2024 at 8.30pm,
6th February Preview show
Preview $8 – $10
Season $15 – $20
Tickets can be purchased through https://fringe.co.nz/show/false-idol

Producer - Georgia Kellett
Production Assistant - Greta Casey-Solly
Performer - Andy Manning

Cabaret , Solo , Theatre ,

60 minutes

A fabulous, heart-warming ode to shameless self-love and acceptance

Review by Tara McEntee 07th Mar 2024

In classic Fringe style, the stage at Gryphon Theatre on this Wednesday evening is set simply, with a keyboard, a guitar and a stool. The audience is full and surprisingly diverse – I see people from all ages and stages of life, and different pairings of theatregoers; some solo, some large groups, some couples. It’s a wonderful reflection of the themes of the show: acceptance, tolerance and shameless self-love.

As the lights dim and a shadowy figure emerges from side of stage to take their place at the keyboard, Andy Manning, in their solo debut, takes us to the Church of You. The show concept centres around Andy’s journey to accepting and embracing their gender identity as a non-binary person and being unabashedly themselves.

We are invited to worship at the Church of You, with the key commandments outlined through song. Andy occasionally recites from ‘The Book of Andy’ as we are taken on a journey through time, back to when young Andy was growing up in Ōtautahi Christchurch. It’s captivating at all times; Andy is one of the most charismatic performers I’ve ever seen.

They effortlessly flow from moment to moment in the show, never showing a hint of the mammoth effort it must take to play their instruments, sing, and act all at once. Not to mention, the subject matter of the show is deeply personal – Andy tells their story in a way that shares the difficulties of being different yet celebrates the joys of it too. At all times the audience are made to feel safe, welcomed, and free. The wordplay in the songs is clever, the tunes catchy, and the show overall uplifting and bright.

It’s a minor thing, but something I really love about the performance is that Andy sings in their native Kiwi accent. Typically, musical theatre songs are sung in an American accent by default; hearing Andy’s story in Andy’s real accent makes it that much more personal.

It would have been easy for this to be a religion-bashing session, but Andy brings their special brand of love and light to the show to make it all about acceptance and being true to yourself, whoever that might be. They preach tolerance and acceptance, and live it through the show, and I think that’s really damn special.

You simply must see this fabulous, heart-warming ode to shameless self-love and acceptance.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council
Waiematā Local Board logo