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The God Particle

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Steve Bennett

So this quantum physicist and this vicar walk into a bar...

And they inevitably have a debate about the nature of faith and rational argument in rather clunky dialogue, delivered with all the implausible intonations of a radio play. Each of the characters has strangely trenchant views; the young clergyman, Rev Dr Gilbert Romans, stressing evolution is only a ‘theory’ and not readily accepting that religion is a matter of faith in something unprovable; meanwhile Dr Bex Kenworthy lacks even rudimentary knowledge of the Bible.

They seem poles apart, but will they ever get on? That’s what you might ask if you’ve never seen a rom com before.

Once we’ve got this simplified exposition dealt with, their relationship and the action really take off. The pair trade barbed crosstalk with all the zing of a Forties Hollywood comedy, but with sarcasm instead of sass. Meanwhile there’s an (acknowledged) touch of Doctor Who as the plot unfolds. It seems that the experiments at the Institute of Advanced Quantum Theory where Kenworthy works is causing strange occurrences in the village of Threepiggs, and you can be sure it won’t be long until the phrase ‘rip in the space-time continuum’ is used.

Writer James Cary, co-creator of the BBC Three bomb disposal sitcom Bluestone 42 and sometime Miranda scribe, is well aware of the conventions of a sci-fi action story; and both deploys them and takes an affectionate swipe at them. There are some great comic lines, too. ‘I’m not very good at small talk,’ Romans says moments after the first meeting. ‘It’s because my mother died at nine.’

The plot, though clearly stuff and nonsense, hangs together well, and after the slightly stilted start, actors Ruben Crow and Abby Guinness relax into their characters, and share an easy to-and-fro as they tease each other about the gaps in their respective knowledge.

All-in-all, it’s a light, fun romp and an agreeable start to a Fringe day.

Review date: 22 Aug 2013
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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