Hand To God

Hand To God Gyton Grantley - photo by Angel LeggasThe Vatican might call it Daemonicus Impilium Populus, but either way the devil came down to Melbourne on Saturday night with a wonderful show that was as anarchic as it was sweet.

Gyton Grantley did some fantastic work in the role of Jason, a son grieving for his father yet unsure how to process it. He was also splendid as Tyrone, the demented sock puppet attached to his arm. What’s nice about the writing is how it eases the audience into watching the puppets interact with the cast, so by the time things get really chaotic on-stage, we’re really only looking at Tyrone’s ‘performance’, which speaks to the exceptional puppeteering Gyton was doing.

Morgana O’Reilly was endearing as Jason’s friend, Jessica. To be sure, she and the other characters orbit around the turbulent relationship Jason has with his mother, but it’s an earnest performance that never feels thin or throwaway. Jake Speer brought plenty of laughs with in an irreverent turn as Timothy, as did Grant Piro who played Pastor Greg with hilarious mix of prudishness and bluster.

Alison Whyte was terrific as Margery, forging a coherent story through every sudden beat of violence, lust, grief, or love – while also being hysterical (the ha-ha kind – not the straight-jacket) throughout. Some mighty funny material that for some of the cast is literally a handful, Hand to God is neat, wee story well told.

Hand To God
The Alex Theatre, 1 / 135 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Performance: Saturday 24 February 2018 – 8.00pm
Season continues to 18 March 2018
Information and Bookings: www.handtogod.com.au

Image: Gyton Grantley as Jason with Tyrone in Hand To God – photo by Angel Leggas

Review: David Collins