Theatre Review: The God Of Soho at Shakespeare’s Globe

A heavenly portrayal of Gods behaving badly at Shakespeare’s Globe.

They might be dressed in white togas, but as the various Gods strut on stage in the opening scene of Chris Hannan’s new play at Shakespeare’s Globe it’s obvious that the materialism of the modern day has made its mark on this heaven.

One deity is draped in gold jewellery and designer handbags, another has a lapdog; one is a cross-dresser and Mrs God, a plastic-surgery addict, sports a colostomy bag.

Heaven is in crisis – Big God, played superbly by Phil Daniels (formerly of EastEnders), is losing his mind and his daughter Clem, Goddess of Love, has lost her divinity and gets banished to earth, plunging the play into a world of excesses.

Clem lands in Soho and crosses paths with a schizophrenic homeless man holding a handbag of sexual secrets belonging to the latest Essex reality TV star, Natty.

It leads to all three worlds – heaven, celebrity and deprivation – colliding with hilarious effect.

Self-loathing Natty’s celebrity status thrives on playing out her love-life with her musician boyfriend in the tabloids and, ironically, her homeless sister is more grounded.

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With comedy and at times sadness, God of Soho portrays the morally-bankrupt aspects of today’s celebrity culture and the ugly side of materialism.

It’s brash, progressive, salacious, sometimes raunchy and pretty topical at times, while filling the space beautifully.

However, as much as I laughed and was thoroughly entertained, I did struggle to be entirely sure of the message the play wanted to convey. But maybe that was the point.

* The God of Soho will show at Shakespeare’s Globe, in New Globe Walk, SE1, until September 30.