Review – Come Heckle Christ
It is not often you have to cross a protest to see a Fringe show. It is not often that a Fringe artist is getting threats. It is never that you have to go through a metal detector at the door.
But there’s a first time for everything, I guess.
This show is no mystery. You sit down and when everyone’s ready to get started He beckons the audience, “Don’t be shy, my children. Heckle me.”
Jesus, why haven’t you washed your hair lately?
Jesus, why do you get people to wear those WWJD bracelets?
Jesus, why do the people with the fish stickers on their cars drive so slowly?
Joshua Ladgrove portrays Jesus: and not the nice, free, happy Jesus, but Jesus hanging on a crucifix in a sheet that has been cut and sticky-taped into a robe. Bearing a reasonable resemblance to the classicly painted version of Our Saviour, with long hair and beard, he responds to heckles with such a calm composure that it left the audience in hysterics.
Special mention has to go to Pat Burtscher who, with his spontaneous heckles and unsolicited responses, occasionally broke Ladgrove’s composure and left us all on the verge of tears.
I’m not sure this thing has a greater meaning than comically examining the life and times of Jesus Christ. However, the message at the end was clear, as Bill and Ted have put it before: Ladgrove simply asks us to “be excellent to each other”.
So even if an angry protester tells you on the way in that you will go to hell if you watch this show, it is still worth watching. After all, Jesus will forgive you.