Her Way (work in progress, John Thaw Studio)

Utilising music, multimedia, a couple of puppets and a female God who drinks just a bit too much, Her Way finished its brief run at the Actors Centre last night as part of the Motherhood(s) Season of new writing.

The company of seven portray God and her nemesis Luci (Lucifer/Satan), Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and the Left and Right Hands of God. The last two strut like minor gangsters, in command of the Almighty phonelines, but its clear they are far from the power behind Herself.

After an odd start, in which a performer playing a video game on her phone is virtually obliterated (if you’re going to have some audience interaction, do it more than this, or reduce it and get on with the story), we meet Adam, First Man and President of a world he doesn’t quite understand.

Adam, with Brian the Lion and Sam the Sheep
Adam, with Brian the Lion and Sam the Sheep

Not until Eve arrives, sexy and sarcastic in a tight PVC skirt, letting loose the proverbial and literal snake in the bed (“do you think it would alarm it/if I put it in your armpit”, sings a nonplussed Adam) and dismissing God’s cohorts.

The songs sometimes explode into fully-fledged song and dance moments, sometimes something more reflective. There’s more than one earworm in a score which definitely has real potential, and one song, Dead Meat, sung by Brian the puppet lion, is a quirky exploration of how the First Humans became carnivore.

Equating the genesis of the world with Trumpism, though, needs further exploration, and the final number of the night, In God We Trust, seemed to stutter to and end without really saying much. There’s a lot to explore about female potential and male power, and Her Way certainly has the legs to do it.

God with her Left and Right Hands
God with her Left and Right Hands

Cast members are Vivian Belosky (Eve, as in “Christmas”), Judith Von Orelli (who makes a marvellous tipsy and pissed-off God), Paul Brayward (the glowing Right Hand), Brian Raftery (Cain and Brian), Louisa Swanson (Left Hand and the devious Luci, “yeah, the wings don’t work”), Jess Peet (Abel, Gabriel and Sam the Sheep), Kieran Stallard (Adam and MD).

Directed by Becky Harrison, this musical is inventive and funny, and even as a work in progress with a lot of further work to do, it was the perfect antidote to a draining and complex play earlier in the day.

In a pre-show preamble, Belosky told us that Her Way should return at another venue in 2020. My advice is to keep an eye on this one: it has the makings of something rather special and fun to add to the fringe scene.

Photos courtesy of @@HerWay_Musical.