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Todd and God review at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh – ‘touching and funny’

Richard Marsh in Todd and God. Photo: David Monteith Hodge Richard Marsh in Todd and God. Photo: David Monteith Hodge

God is a woman in Richard Marsh’s follow-up to his trilogy of poetry plays about love. God also has something of a dry sense of humour and is fallible. She’s sorry about wasps. She’s sorry that all the hundreds of creeds and religions established in her name and predicated on love all tend to get a bit “burny” in the end.

In Todd and God she decides to start over by making, hapless digital content-provider Todd her Messiah. He is her vessel and her mouthpiece, the rock for her new religion. Except it’s pretty tough convincing the world you’re the Messiah; even Todd’s wife doesn’t believe him. But then she’s a surgeon and she sees evidence of God’s none-existence in every needless death on her table.

Marsh’s poetry is smart and propulsive, layered with ripe rhymes. He knows how to detonate a joke and has a knack for unpacking the emotional complexities of relationships through verse. As in the magnificent Dirty Great Love Story, he can write about the highs and lows of love and about catastrophic hangovers with equal wit and verve.

Sara Hirsch makes an entertaining deity, first a voice on a speaker, later a presence. The show as a whole is heaps of fun, with occasional moments of poignancy, but it feels like there’s a more provocative opus aching to escape, a deeper exploration of faith, the reasons people believe and the role of religion in society.

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Touching and funny, if surface-skimming, poetry play exploring faith in the modern world