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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2003
Emmy winning comedian Paul Wagner plays 41 characters in this riotous high-tech, multi-screen comedy, skewering corporate America, war and religion in one hilarious stroke. A comedic tour-de-force.
This over ambitious show seemed doomed from the outset, thanks to a 35 minute delay in starting. And when it did get under way, the performance was completely impersonal, with no acknowledgement of the audience's presence.
Paul Wagner, a convincing actor, instead addressed only his characters, a series of shallow American stereotypes projected onto a screen: Bill Gates type geeks, Forest Gump type simpletons and Jewish type 'yadda, yadda my boy' type money-grabbers. References had little imagination and left the audience shifting uncomfortably in their seats.
Paul is a talented performer, but this format so obvious doesn't work on many levels. The American sports commentary and portrayal of Catholicism is universally accessible and the 'Tickle me Jesus' doll was amusing, but treading the well-worn boards of religion left some of the audience with no option but to walk out.
Did I want to leave, too? Well, is the Pope Catholic?
I had to walk out of this show. after the first appaulingly cringeworthy rendition of This Little Light Of Mine. I took advantage of the (very long) blackout and made a run for it. it was just...terrible. the stereotypes were awful, I regret spending any money on this show at all. God Inc..was dire, and yes, it started late for me too.
This amazing satire on America's domination of the world held thought from the outset. If one gets through the immediately obvious shallowness of the characters you realise that the whole symbolism of the piece is reflected in great detail and accuracy in the presentation. It's supposed to be tacky, shallow and commercial as this is what the world is becoming. The title "God Inc" also details a lot about the contents of the piece. Paul Wagner's Jesus is exactly what American society in essence would love him to be and the fact God has an agent is as typical as anything else in the States nowadays. The lessons to be learnt from this piece is that some things have to say as they are. Some things do not need to become corporations or big business and trying to appeal to masses means some of the most meaningful lessons can be easily forgetten through greed. And I'm not even religious.