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Patrick Barlow ...
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18 January 1984 (UK)  »

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The National Theatre of Brent Presents: Messiah  »

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Followed by Revolution!! (1989) See more »

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Biblical epic performed by two men, playing a cast of thousands!
4 August 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Adapted from a stage play, this hilarious production stars Patrick Barlow and Jim Broadbent as leading lights in the 'National Theatre of Brent'. It's nearly 30 years since I saw it, yet I remember well falling on the floor at Broadbent's depiction of the virgin Mary. But there is really nothing mocking or sacrilegious about the show at all; it's a gentle, heart-warming kind of comedy. Whereas Monty Python's Life of Brian strove (very effectively) for a realistic depiction of the Holy Land around the time of Jesus, with broad characters and outlandish behaviour, most of the humour here derives instead from the brilliantly understated subtlety of the acting, and the touchingly amateurish production values.. This is long overdue for a repeat, or preferably a video release.


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