The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven @ artSpace (St Mark’s)

Review by Leonie Walters | 19 Aug 2014
  • The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven

Your parents may have conceived you doggy style, is one message to take away from Jo Clifford’s Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven. It is only one of the morsels of insight offered in her sermon in the atmospheric St Mark’s church. Another is that she certainly hopes they enjoyed themselves, because pleasure is sacred. Her gospel can be a thoroughly soothing one if your recent Fringe debauchery has you feeling a bit impure.

The flowing white dress, sassy jacket and red converse sneakers are the perfect get up for this JC, who lights a few candles and sips tea from a thermos flask while telling the audience how they were once all miracle baby Jesuses who still have the power to bring light into this dark world. Her earthly groundedness makes the listeners perfectly willing to go along with her, even if it looks like spiritualist twaddle when read from a computer screen.

If anything is the matter with Jo Clifford’s sermon, it’s that it can get a bit preachy at times. But hey. She’s Jesus. The LGBT angle of her performance adds interest to her interpretation of religious ideas and the role of outcasts, but in no way excludes the straight or the dull. In the end, we are all god’s – or Jo Clifford’s mum’s – children.

Jo Clifford: The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven, artSpace@StMark’s, Until 23 Aug (not 18), 10.30pm, £12(£10)