Multiple Emmy winner David Javerbaum’s play about God’s thoughts on humanity debuted on Broadway in 2015 with The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons in the role, but He has chosen Zoe Lyons as His vessel for this London run.
The premise: God has come to Earth to rewrite the Commandments. Reworked with fresh gags about Brexit and Prince Andrew alongside the Big Questions – why do we suffer? Why is Donald Trump allowed to roam the Earth? – the comedy stays in safe territory with corny one-liners and surreal flights of fancy.
It sometimes explains its joke too much – one about the Church of England being created to undermine the sanctity of marriage loses momentum due to needlessly relating that Henry VIII set up the Anglican church.
Lyons, dressed in silk pyjamas with a gold-embroidered G, like a less problematic Hugh Hefner, is a cranky, mercurial and sarcastic God. She seems more devilish than holy as lights flicker to red, and her voice mutates to a dark roar while thunder rumbles.
In director Benji Sperring’s production, Lyons has a diva-ish delivery, cocktail glass in hand, like a film star who hasn’t forgotten the little people. She’s flanked by the delightfully camp Matt Tedford from Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho as arc angel Michael and Tom Bowen as the obedient Gabriel.
The Instagrammable set consists of a bed with cute cartoon cloud bedhead beside a framed photo of Justin Bieber. This sets the tone for a cheeky show that wryly mocks modern life – with added magic tricks. It’s the attention to detail that gives this show wings.