Not The Messiah

Tom Crawshaw

Three's Company

Pleasance Courtyard

From 01 August 2013 to 24 August 2013

Rating: ****

Review by Graeme Strachan

Not The Messiah is a new play from Three's Company following the life of Graham Chapman, from his first days at Cambridge through the formation of Monty Python right up to his final moments.

George Telfer takes up the mantle of Chapman, sitting in his hospital bed while dying of throat cancer, relating the strange and curious events of his life. It's a clever and captivating performance, never stooping to parody or exaggerated physicality. Telfer simply embodies the persona of Chapman with an ease and grace that seem effortless.

It's a wonderful journey, peppered with witty nods to Chapman's characters and to many well-known jokes from the Python sketches, often used to clever bittersweet effect. Ultimately it's a very funny, very sad story told in heart wrenching detail.

Chapman's short and troubled life and his struggles with being openly homosexual, his alcoholism and finally the cancer that ulimately killed him are sensitively and brilliantly told. A gem.