How did a child’s question lead to new satire God 2.0? Playwright/director Andrew Bruce-Lockhart explains all. Book your tickets now!
The new production, staged by Kent-based company Blueberry Goose Theatre Group, runs at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre from 12 to 16 November 2019.
In the world of God 2.0, the heavenly entity gives a monthly interview answering absolutely any question. For Ash Pentel, a troubled heavy-weight political journalist and this month’s interviewer, the right answer could be a life saver.
At one level the play is an exploration of how society as a whole might deal with situation. How does it cope with the sudden proof that God exists? That God is real? On another, it is about how individuals might process this understanding based on their own personal perspectives and prejudices.
The play previously ran in an earlier, condensed version at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in 2018 as part of The Camden Fringe, when London Theatre Reviews, in its 4-star review, said of the production: “Talking about God is never easy, especially if you don’t want to fall into clichés or judgments, or hurt somebody’s conscience. God 2.0 is a courageous play that accomplish all this, makes you look into yourself and gives food for thought for the days to come.”
This new staging of God 2.0 follows the success of Blueberry Goose Theatre Group’s Letting Go, which enjoyed a run at the Hen & Chickens Theatre as part of this summer’s Camden Fringe. Two of the cast from that production – CMJ Taylor and Zoe Cunningham – are reunited by Bruce-Lockhart for God 2.0. They’re joined in the cast by Malcolm Jeffries, Inez Thorn and Romy Chaggar.
God 2.0 runs at The Lion & Unicorn Theatre, 42-44 Gaisford St, Kentish Town, London NW5 2ED from 12 to 16 November with performances from Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £14. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!
Andrew Bruce-Lockhart on God 2.0
How did you get the idea for God 2.0?
During my degree (Education with Theology and Religious Studies) I got asked by a 7 year old, during teaching practice, why God allowed her brother to die in a hit and run accident. The question floored me. I didn’t have an answer. When I asked the leader of my course (a Rev) what they would have said, their answer was they would have asked – ‘Why do you think?’ I didn’t like that answer. It felt like a cop out.
I tend to write about things that interest me and religion always has, but I don’t have a faith myself. I decided to write the play because I was interested in trying to tackle the big questions every faith has, in very straightforward non denominational/inclusive terms, and not feel like I was coping out of any question.
A shorter version of the play was seen at Camden Fringe 2018. How has it grown since then?
It’s gone from a low key Martin Bashir-esque Lady Di set up (two chairs in a room conversation between two people) to a bigger, more inclusive and modern piece that includes multi-media elements, projections and social media input. We also play with the idea that you see want to see (one of the core elements of the play) by introducing multiple actors playing god. I have also added two questions that should have been in the shorter version, but there was just not time.
Religion can be a tricky subject to write about. How have you dealt with the delicacies?
Write without judgment… Let people take their own opinions away… allow for sensitivities and be aware that what you write you will need to feel happy saying and talking about with to anyone with faith because Religion and faith are the foundation on which millions live their lives.
Asking questions of God could have led to a huge play. How have you controlled its expansion?
That’s true. I wrote a lot more… but I have edited it to be a shortish play. There are many directions it could go and I’d like to explore it maybe in the form of a TV series – but for the moment I just wanted to stick to the big questions and see how it goes down.
How do you find balancing being both writer and director?
Time. It gives me distance from my own writing that I feel I need to look at it with fresh and more of ‘audience perspective’ eyes. On average it’s working out at about a year between writing something and then directing it. I wrote something in September this year that I am taking to Ed Fringe next year. I won’t look at it again for another 6-7 months, I’d guess.
What question would you like to ask God?
Why are you (God) here?
How do you feel about staging the show at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre?
I’m really excited to have the chance to put the full play on at the theatre space I did the fringe show of it at last year. It feels familiar, but it is under new management that promotes new work and has put on some amazing shows. I really hope God 2.0 will do them proud.
What can audiences expect from a trip to see God 2.0?
I’m hoping it’s a thoughtful, challenging yet entertaining night. A trip that might lead to conversations about the big question that make us all human – no matter your belief.