What’s it about?
A grieving family finding solace and purpose through the art of hand puppetry. But one of those hand puppets might just be the devil…
Meet Tyrone. He’s a cussing, blasphemous, gleefully offensive sock puppet and he’s taken control of young, sweet Jason. This is Bible belt America and the only truth they want to hear is the word of their saviour Jesus Christ. But Tyrone has other ideas about what might just save you after all…
Robert Askins’ Hand To God is an explosive blast of raucous, hilarious, dirty fun.
Who’s in it?
One of the many triumphs of this show is having collected a company who make each and every character – for all their many quirks, flaws and sins – utterly loveable.
There’s the incredible Janie Dee as a Southern Belle mom who discovers solace in practising sadomasochism in the Sunday School room. Kevin Mains gives a brilliant South Park interpretation of a teenage delinquent who likes to break things, as her unlikely – and downright inappropriate – love interest Timothy.
Neil Pearson is perfect as a pastor who uses the power of prayer for (a not always entirely successful) seduction and the always wonderful Jemima Rooper, who exudes warmth as Jason’s ally and the reason his non-puppet holding hand getting a frequent work out, fellow puppet lover Jessica.
But what of the all-important Tyrone and Jason? Harry Melling is a revelation as the pair of conflicting comrades, switching schizophrenically between Jason’s soft, insecure, hormonally charged bemusement and Tyrone’s Beelzebub babblings complete with a vocal roar of Brian Blessed proportions. It goes without saying that pulling this off is no mean feat and Melling pulls it off flawlessly.
What should I look out for?
The best puppet sex since Avenue Q.
In a nutshell
Zany, dark, edgy, hilarious and gleefully offensive, Hand To God is a devilish triumph.
What’s being said on Twitter?
Had a brilliant time seeing Hand to God at the weekend. Cleverly acted and incredibly funny.
— Paddy (@paddyjames89) February 15, 2016
— will turner roden (@willturnerroden) February 14, 2016
Will I like it?
If you loved The Book Of Mormon, it’s safe to say this will be up your street. But, just like that delightfully despicable musical, for all its rude jokes, Hand To God has heart and is as weighty as it is witty. If you’re not averse to a bit of puppet porn, go and have your eyes opened to the dark side. Turns out Tyrone’s fires of hell might just end up warming your heart.
Hand To God is playing until 11 June at the Vaudeville Theatre. You can book tickets through us here.