Review: The View Weekly

In The Commandment, playwright/performer Phil Rickaby tackles the serious issue of the suicide of a loved one in a dark stand-up comedy style. An imagined conversation with God is the central incident in this fictionalized piece based on real events. Protagonist atheist Thomas is approached by God (in a public washroom of all places) and asked to become his prophet and to preach his new commandment (which I will not disclose in this review).

Rickaby literally bursts onto the stage and his energy does not flag at any point in the proceedings. Although the story is presented as an impromptu stand-up comedy routine, its solid writing and performing chops cannot be hidden. Rickaby’s timing and body language speak more of good stage craft than standup experience. His comedic turn as God (a bus driver surely inspired by some Jimmy Stewart character) is as engaging as his gusto and heart break in the role of Thomas.

The Commandment was The View’s Critic’s choice of the venue in the 2016 Hamilton Fringe Festival.


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