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Review: GODZ, The Vault @ Fool's Paradise

The production runs from 3 May to 2 June

By: Jun. 05, 2024
Review: GODZ, The Vault @ Fool's Paradise  Image
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Review: GODZ, The Vault @ Fool's Paradise  Image

“And that, my friends, is the story of Greek mythology”

Judging from the content warnings alone, you can tell that you are in for a show with GODZ - audience interaction, strong language, nudity, haze/smoke effects, depictions and references to violence . . . The list goes on! The show, described as a “hedonistic dive head-first into the lives of the ancient gods of Olympus,” is a circus performance that brings together Apollo (Thomas Gotham), Dionysus (Jordan Twartz), Cupid (Liam Dummer) and Hercules (Cal Harris), showing off their skills to the mortal audience.

The acting is purposefully overdramatic, with each of the performers “breaking character” at times, revealing the actor behind the god facade and directly interacting with the audience. Gotham as Apollo tends to do this the most, mouthing quips to the audience as the others perform. There is quite a bit of slapstick comedy as well, including some of the gods using cymbal crashes to scare the others when they are performing and chasing each other around the stage, fighting. There are also several moments in which the performers act like they don’t know what they’re doing, though everything is well-choreographed with little to no actual errors noticed by the audience.

Each of the four performers has their moment to shine, showing off their particular speciality. As Dionysus, Twartz performs with a magical goblet, AKA a diablo, using the two strings to make it look like the goblet is floating in the air around him. It’s quite impressive and very much on theme for the God of Wine! The other acts are not as on theme to the characters, but they are all still fun.

Apollo balances on small platforms on a table, at one point spinning on his head, an impressive fear that left me feeling dizzy for him! Hercules has the task of whipping out candles, though it is revealed that the candles are all electric, which definitely takes a bit away from the impressiveness of the act (though it’s still fun to watch). He later returns to do some balancing with a ladder, flirting with the audience as he performs. Cupid does some incredible balance acts with chairs, playing into the act of nervousness by looking down and cursing before performing a gorgeous balance. 

In one particularly memorable scene, Hercules is cleaning statues that are revealed to be the other three performers wearing absolutely nothing, hiding their genitals with golden plates. They then dance together, switching the plates between one another, which does lead to some flashes to the audience! There is also another interesting scene that takes place in Christian Hell, home of “the drug-takers, fornicators and The Killers,” with most of the performers dressed as nuns, dancing to Rihanna’s “S & M” with several hilarious religious references. 

Ultimately, GODZ is a fun and impressive circus show that combines athleticism, slapstick and just a bit of nudity. The Greek mythology theme is great and allows for some more playful moments. Fair warning - it’s definitely not your mother’s circus show!

GODZ ran from 3 May to 2 June at The Vault @ Fool’s Paradise at Brighton Fringe.


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