Overall, [Phil] Rickaby has commanding stage presence and storytelling prowess and The Commandment is surprising in its ability to oscillate between between being very light and funny, and then taking a more somber turn that asks the audience to reflect deeper on how this revelation connects with God driving the bus.
Thomas, a God hating, atheist, prophet, begins his diatribe at an open mic night. On the face of it , The Commandment sounds like a bad joke, but what a punchline! From the beginning to the end this of play there is a roller coaster feel. What is faith? Do we control our destiny, or is it predetermined? The comedy adds to the edginess of this piece.
As someone who has now seen more Fringe theatre than most people I know and also as a musician who performs, I have a lot of respect for one-man shows, especially with limited or minimal props. The ability to hold an audience for an hour is a true compliment to Phil Rickaby’s skills as both a performer and writer.
Phil Rickaby, the writer, producer and star of the one-man show, interweaves a creative concept with his own life experiences and creates a well-crafted story with surprising emotional impact. The jokes are sharp and the pathos is deep.
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.