Comedy is a funny thing, literally and figuratively. You never know if someone else will find the same thing as hilarious as you do, especially when you cross cultural boundaries. I have learned from living in different countries, humor can be very different and it can be difficult to explain a joke that’s laugh-out-loud funny in your language to someone in another language or from another cultural background.
Hand To God is probably one of those fine line type of plays. I personally found it hilarious. The humour is wonderfully offensive and taking a dig at America’s super religious beliefs is definitely a topic I’d go for any day. Robert Askins’ play took a five year journey from being an off-off Broadway production, being an absolute smash-hit on Broadway to then cross the pond into the West End.
The play is set in a Lutheran ministry in Texas and Jason, plus his devilish sock puppet Tyrone. Jason’s back story: his dad died of a heart attack and his mother, Margery is devotedly helping out at the local church running a sock puppet gospel choir. Tyrone becomes more and more evil throughout the play and the question remains whether the puppet is really possessed by the devil or if it is just Jason’s inner most thoughts coming to life.
While the critics haven’t particularly praised the play, I personally think if you’re looking for some serious belly laughs about the American obsession with religion and aren’t offended by profanities – this play is for you. If you’re looking for a deep, serious, and magnificent stage production, you should probably go see Shakespeare at the Globe.
The moral of the story is, accept the responsibilities and consequences of your own actions.