Todd & God (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Todd and God

Lyrical performance tackles questions around faith and atheism

Todd (Richard Marsh) is part of a generation for whom atheism is almost fashionable. This lyrical performance tells the story of what happens when this unremarkable and faithless individual is asked by God (Sara Hirsch) to found a new religion.

As well as being an atheist, Todd is also in possession of a significant ego, which quickly overrides his rational scepticism: initially furtive and quizzical, his confidence and presence swell as he settles into his messianic status.

Marsh also portrays Todd's wife, Helen, as well as his father in law, Pete, and is equally in command of these roles. Indeed, Marsh seems to reserve much of his energy for these ancillary parts, which provide effective emotional punches while also highlighting the ordinariness of Todd himself.

Hirsch's God also thrives while presenting a dichotomy: both saviour and corrupter, provider and destroyer, she lacks some menace during the play's grisly denouement, but her performance is rich in suggesting danger.

To criticise a piece which revolves around the creation of a new religion for being preachy feels absurd, yet the heavy handedness of the final monologue suggests the writer (also Marsh) lacks confidence in his own work. There was no need to evangelise, the audience already believed.

Pleasance Dome, until 28 Aug (not 15), 2.50pm, £11–£13 (£10–£12).

Todd & God

  • 3 stars

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