Fourth Monkey's Genesis and Revelations: Ascension Part 2
theSpace on Niddry St
Inverting the precept of the first installment, the second play opens with John the Apostle giving up his recording of his visions and passing his notebook on to his beloved, the anthropomorphised bloodied lamb.
Having spent the first play showing a vision of the apocalypse, this play charts the armageddon as the purity of the lamb is slowly worn away, until she finally commits to bringing forth the birth of a new dawn.
Much like the previous part, this is a scattershot of vignettes rather than a traditional narrative drawing imagery and meaning from the Bible whilst allegorically linking it to the modern day.
Never is this clearer than when the seven deadly sins, manifested as a corpulent, many-headed blob of flesh, court the heads of various corporate industries then transform into a demonic media mogul, replete with Australian accent and wings made out of broadsheet newspapers.
As a second half of a production, the play does unfortunately slightly rely on patrons having made it to the first part, otherwise there is little to explain the characters or the setting. Emily Ralph's Lamb is never given the same benefit of identification she was in the first half, yet strangely a point is made of naming Judas Iscariot, despite him only featuring fleetingly. So, to that extent, the play will be largely indecipherable to first time patrons.
Genesis & Revelation: Ascension part 2 isn't quite the staggering epic that the first part managed to be, but rather, instead, it's almost in the style of Goethe's Faust, where the follow-up piece goes off in a slightly different direction, one which isn't quite the same, and varies in tone, style and concept.
Nevertheless, by the close of the play, where the bitter, cyclic nature of the eternal struggle between the profane and the sacred becomes apparent, you'll feel like you've grown in the telling.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan