Fringe Online 2021
Hindu gods, Vishnu and Brahma have come to Dundee, as you do, to rescue Lakshmi. Only by rescuing her shall they be able to restore earth, bring balance, spread divinity and get Lakshmi out of the lassie she inhabits, Lakhi, and she is on the lash. They meet her, whilst inhabiting their own earthly beings, in the shape of two young Dundee youthful worthies, also on the lash, and try to rekindle her memory. In a night out they get caught up in her scheme of gaining entry through the back door of a shop for some cans, then are stuck inside until they can escape the ride and bide danger of overstaying a welcome. In the end, the end, has means with which to justify itself.
This has caused some consternation amongst religious leaders. It may be safe to presume that this has done so because of the language and the way in which the Gods have been made to speak in the vernacular of the young. It would, for some, suggest a lack of reverence for them.
But they have, I can but presume, been unable to get beyond the language and listen to the message. Given the complexity of any religion in the modern age this translates very well for those of us for whom the religious experience involves one God, over whom we argue but never truly worship. For religious leaders the translation of the message into the words of the audience at whom this may be targeted has clearly been a step too far – I wish they had stayed until the end.
The script which sees out intrepid two deities on a rescue mission, turn into two wee Dundee boys for the night, find their quarry, set about trying to get her to remember, recognize and fall again for Vishnu, her husband, and then get out of the town, find themselves stuck in a lock in by mistake. Lakhi loves the drink and is trying to get them all hammered. She knows how to find free booze and given their desire to have her remember and return, they are literally locked into her scheming. It is a heady Dundee mix of night out, bad behavior and trying the patience of their saints. The script manages to keep this going with some style.
Whilst others might see the lack of reverence towards religion as an issue, I was slightly more caught up by the standard trope of boy chases girl in a slightly demeaning manner. There are flashes within this which would suggest that author, Jaimini Jethwa, is more than the equal to such a task. That might, however, be a leap a little too far for those within her community as yet.
With Rehanna McDonald, Adam McNamara and Daniel Portman as the three major characters, this has a great deal of flair and heft to add to the script. Drawing each God out and into the glaur of the Dee, these three have an ensemble approach which allows each to blend between and show distinction vocally which keeps the accent but structures the seriousness of their mission until the denouement is upon us. It then changes to being one of real reverence and illumination. I loved the transformation which retains their God like status whilst still inhabiting enough of their down to earth assumed persona not to turn it preachy or fairy talesque.
It is well directed by Caitlin Skinner with just the right hand on the tiller and allows the production to have pace as well as pause. Weaving in original music from Niroshini Thambar and Nik Paget-Tomlinson this is a great treat to listen to.
I think it would be equally awesome to see it live.