If Lucy McCormick is a triple threat, then her show is nothing short of an unholy trinity. Pop anthems, slick choreography and unflinching humour are combined in this audacious, lewd retelling of the life and death (and life again) of Jesus Christ.
McCormick frames the show with her feigned passion – perhaps delusion – for creating a revelatory one-woman show. Her tone hilariously frames her as a super-serious artist who lives for the craft, even if her gifts from the magi – due to budgetary restrictions – are reduced to Nescafé gold, Frankfurters, and meringues. After her first number (in which a mix-up between a purple dildo and microphone is followed by the proper use of both those objects), McCormick gives us some insight as to the reasons behind her divine choices.
Those choices are one of the reasons the show is so funny. She wilfully rushes past quite big incidents in Jesus’s life (crucifixion, last supper, etc) and instead shows less remembered moments, often with more prominent female characters: the three women singing Justin Bieber’s Sorry after finding Jesus’ body has left his tomb; or Jesus convincing doubting Thomas it’s him by allowing Thomas to investigate, quite literally, every inch of Jesus’ body. Yes, some gags are drawn out slightly too long, but they are always eventually saved by some fresh, albeit twisted punchline. It’s a bold and nervy crafting together of all the brows – high, middle, and all the way down to hell – that is thrown at the audience, almost like a dare, and it surprises and captivates throughout.
And it doesn’t just have shock value. McCormick, along with her Girl Squad (two limber male backing singers in skimpy outfits), are able to charm the audience with their actual talents. McCormick has a strong and beautiful pop voice, its power heard even through slightly tired vocal chords. She sings intelligently and comically, using her angelic ability with Aguilera accuracy. Her Girl Squad play various secondary characters throughout, maintaining stoically deadpan faces as they execute flawless dance moves, or sing textured and pleasing harmonies.
The gospel according to McCormick may be a debauched one, but through audience interaction it invites and attracts willing followers. Even the final scene, a big climactic ascension, has a strange, invigorating community spirit. It involves a rare degree of engagement and participation with fellow theatregoers, who are all brought together to worship at the altar of the messianic McCormick. Radiant and rousing, even when downright filthy, Triple Threat is a divine and dirty awakening.
Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat is at Soho Theatre until 22nd April 2017. For more details, click here.