Hand To God to premiere in Melbourne in 2018

The Alex Theatre St. Kilda Hand To God CastThe critically acclaimed American play Hand To God – about a demonic sock puppet that wreaks havoc on relationships and faith in a small Texas town – will have its Australian premiere at The Alex Theatre St Kilda from 22 February 2018, for a strictly limited season.

In this pure black comedy, which received five Tony Award nominations in 2015 including Best Play, something devilish is lurking in a church basement puppet show in Cypress, Texas. And his name is…Tyrone. He may look like an innocent sock puppet, but when he infiltrates the angst-ridden church youth group and takes possession of Jason’s arm, all hell breaks loose.

Spectacularly foul-mouthed and wickedly scandalous, Tyrone shocks the congregation with his outrageous insinuations, exposing their deepest secrets – and teaching us all about love, grief and what it means to be human. Following on from Broadway and London runs, this darkly delightful and wildly funny comedy will equally shock and delight audiences.

The Australian premiere season of Hand To God will feature Gyton Grantley as the shy and awkward Jason, whose seemingly lifeless hand puppet, Tyrone, begins to take on a life of its own, Alison Whyte as his mother Margery, Grant Piro as Pastor Greg, Jake Speer as Timothy and Morgana O’Reilly as Jessica. The creative team includes: Gary Abrahams (Director), Jacob Battista (Scenic Design), Amelia Lever-Davidson (Lighting Design), Chloe Greaves (Costume Design) and Ian Moorhead (Sound Design).

“When I first read the script I knew I had to do it,” said Director Gary Abrahams (Angels In America, Bad Jews). “I hadn’t laughed so much or so loudly in ages, and I was so taken with the daring of Robert Askins writing. It’s an incredibly smart and very funny new play that reveals itself to be something quite special.”

Hand To God is truly outrageous – there are moments that make you scream with horror and laughter at the same time. I guess you could say it’s a simple story about a puppet who takes over the hand – then the life – of a small-town teen, tearing up the stage as he does it.”

“But as you watch it, you see that playwright Rob Askin has also got something important to say about hypocrisy, belief, and grief – and the ridiculous pleasures of bad behaviour. The play is filthy and hilarious and perverse and also a little bit heartbreaking.”

Producer Aleksander Vass remarked, “Gary Abrahams has a feel for comedy like very few people I know and Hand to God requires a director who can unleash its subversively brash and outrageous spirit. Gary previously directed Bad Jews for us and I knew he was the perfect choice to helm this production.”

Playwright Robert Askins Playwright was born in Cypress Texas in 1980. He moved to New York in 2005. His play’s include Princes of Waco, Matthew and the Pastor’s Wife and Doll Parts.

“Nothing is more exciting than a new play that takes you by surprise.” – Wall Street Journal

Hand To God will play at The Alex Theatre St Kilda from 22 February 2018. For more information, visit: www.handtogod.com.au for details.

Image: Grant Piro, Alison Whyte, Gyton Grantley, Morgana O’Reilly and Jake Speer to star in Hand To God (supplied)