Ryan Paulson (4 stars)

  • List.co.uk
  • 21 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

For the heathen trawling through the hedonism and decadence of the Fringe, sirens wail when an act begins their show by plucking at a guitar and singing about having a ‘friend in Jesus’. However, Pentecostal Wisconsin is a subtle and witty trip through Ryan Paulson’s young experiences in the church. The subject matter of speaking in tongues and greasily charismatic pastors is usually shown as a grotesque circus on television, but Paulson offers touching, ambiguous personal insight.

Born into a community descended from Scandinavian settlers, Paulson has trouble knowing when Jesus is talking to him, whether April Hansen loves him, and why Jesus chooses him for a pastor when the golden boy of the congregation is sat right next to him. A case of mistaken identity? Perhaps. As he confesses at the end, it’s much more interesting to talk to other people than Jesus, because they talk back. (Robin Lee)

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 668 1633, until 28 Aug, 4.30pm, £8.50-£9.50 (£7.50-£8.50).

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