The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

Stephen Adly Guirgis

Theatre Oikos

Zoo

From 03 August 2012 to 11 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Stephen Adly Guigis’s groundbreaking play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot was in safe hands with the Oikos Theatre Company who are students at Bradfield College in West Berkshire.

This is their fifth consecutive visit to the Fringe and they have grown in strength with committed and versatile performances from this young and talented cast.

Set in purgatory in a downtown courtroom in New York in 2005, Judas Iscariot, an intense performance from Jacob Crossley, and his passionate, persuasive and persistent lawyer, the excellent Vanessa Evans, have launched an appeal against Judas remaining in eternal damnation.

Jack Sieff is the keen and eager prosecution counsel, Al Fayoumy who gives an engaging and witty performance that had the audience laughing at his swaggering misguided confidence.

These two advocates battle out the case under the domineering and controlling judge (Alex Hewitt) who was standing for no nonsense in his court.

Many witnesses are called including Mother Teresa, a lovely cameo performance from Eleo Tibbs. Harrison Charles is the vain Sigmund Freud with Harry Gaff perfectly catching the smarmy dominant Satan complete with Gucci jacket and silk red shirt and Georgia Roberts brings much humour as the nagging, brassy St Monica.

The dramatic ending is handled with much sensitivity with Sam Scott as Jesus comforting the sobbing and broken Judas.

The whole company are a credit to director Jules Crossley who has created a thoughtful and challenging interpretation of this controversial play.