Virgin on the ridiculous

If you’re a fan of silly humour and you like Hugh Dennis, pop along to the Richmond theatre this week.

The Messiah is a comedy about a theatre troupe staging a production about the birth of Jesus. Hugh plays Maurince Rose, the proprietor and John Marquez (the policeman in Doc Martin) plays the rest of the company, with soprano Lesley Garrett as the chorus, trying to sing serious songs while they lark about around her (think Morcambe and Wise with Glenda Jackson).

It’s written by Patrick Barlow, known amongst other things for his two man theatre company the National Theatre of Brent, so he has form with actors playing lots of parts with merely a hat, or in this case a tea towel to indicate change of role. 

The comedians play very well off each other. Hugh the concerned Joesph trying to help Mary breathe through the contractions as John morphs effortlessly from bored teenager Mary to the midwife to the Archangel Gabriel. This is Lesley Garrett’s first play. It’s always fun watching someone known for their serious art unbutton themselves. She took to mucking about like a wise man to a camel.