Review: Not Moses

Unfunny Moses


Whether it is the work of a vengeful God I wouldn't presume to say, But a plague of "'nots" descends on NotMoses, an embarrassingly overreaching new biblical comedy by Leon the Pig Farmer creator Gary Sinyor.

A hidden Jewish baby is plucked from the Nile by an Egyptian princess who, after spotting a quieter baby, dumps the first one back into the river and takes the second one home. Here, Thomas Nelstrop's suspiciously Jewish Moses grows up in Pharaoh's palace thinking he's an all-Egyptian goy while the rejected baby is raised in slavery with the conveniently comic name NotMoses (Greg Barnett).

But the rest is not good news. From that promising genesis there follows a mass exodus of confidence that this comedy can ever be as subversive as it wants to be. Jokes are not well constructed and the story is not well paced.

In fact, each time Sinyor's misfiring jalopy of a play - which he ineptly directs - generates momentum, it's snuffed out either by a bad gag or, on more than one occasion, nothing at all, stranding members of his committed cast on stage and condemning them to construct their own comic exit with an improvised "funny" look. It has the feel of a Jewish youth club show performed to parents who applaud no matter what. But then they are not being charged for tickets.

Sinyor has compared his debut play to Monty Python's Life of Brian. Which is one of his better jokes.

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