Seymour Mace: Testamental
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Bible stories told by an idiot.
In this show, Seymour Mace methodically takes a scathing, satirical look at Judeo-Christian iconography, using his sharp intellectual arguments to debunk Biblical myths once and for all.
Does he bollocks. This is just an hour of surreal Testament-based silliness, featuring some wonderfully daft moments. It’s what the Bible would have been like if God was not an omnipotent, omnipresent being but an immature, awkward Geordie with too much time on his hands.
You might have thought there really aren’t any more jokes that can be cracked about the Bible, but by taking a ridiculously childish approach, the engaging Mace finds fresh ground. It’s all very well to advance the atheist argument – but that’s not going to give you pimped-up bees, slutty chickens and sock-puppet serpents.
The show is a number of stupid set pieces, illustrating such stories as Adam and Eve, Abraham, and Moses. It’s Old Testament-heavy, since those fairytales are more ripe for mocking, but Jesus gets a brief look-in at the end, too, just before the ultimate battle of good vs evil, reduced here to a trivial piece of audience participation.
Everything is little more than an excuse for Mace to be foolish, but there are a few actual gags in the mix, too, some of them a bit painful, but he sells them with misplaced conviction that conquers resistance. His finest moment is giving a few examples of his 101 Uses For A Dead Foreskin, which would surely become an impulse-buy bestseller if he could actually compile enough for a book.
Mace hasn’t quite got enough ideas to sustain the full hour, so the result can be patchy, especially in the last third when audience energy levels are dropping anyway. But there’s plenty of uncomplicated fun to be had before then.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett