NotMoses at Arts Theatre tickets
NotMoses at Arts Theatre tickets

NotMoses has closed

This show has closed

Overview

Award-winning filmmaker and producer Gary Sinyor wrote and directed his debut play, NotMoses, which received its world premiere at the Arts Theatre London in March 2016. A hilariously fresh take on the beloved biblical tale of Moses, NotMoses was a gleefully irreverent new comedy that marked Sinyor’s first venture into theatre.

Set in Ancient Egypt, NotMoses follows the unfortunate abandoned baby that narrowly misses out on becoming the legendary saviour that leads the exodus. A crying baby is plucked from the Nile by a Princess, only to be thrown back in again when a prettier, better baby comes along. This lucky baby becomes Prince Moses, who studies accountancy at the Pharaoh’s Court, whilst the rejected NotMoses becomes a resentful slave. When everyone is forced to flee into the Sinai desert, Moses and NotMoses unite to make kebabs on the burning bush. It is only when the Good Lord orders them to lead the Jews into the land of cows and bees that an alluring and mysterious Miriam steps in to save the day.

Sinyor is a BAFTA nominated director and recipient of the Venice International Film Festival’s Critics Choice, known for his extensive work in film. Most notable works include Stiff Upper Lips, The Bachelor with Renee Zellweger, United We Fall with Jack Donnelly and The Unkindest Cut for which he received a BAFTA nomination. Sinyor is perhaps best-known for writing, directing and producing the critically acclaimed film Leon the Pig Farmer, which was commissioned by Monty Python star Eric Idle and for which he received the Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer.

Casting for the production included children Izzy Lee and Theo Mackenzie, who were plucked from a batch of open auditions for the Son of God, with design by Carla Goodman and lighting by Humphrey McDermott. NotMoses is a riotous and jaw-droopingly bold comedy that allows the audience to experience all ten plagues in the space of one evening. With smatterings of Python-esque comedy, this wacky show played for a limited time at the Arts Theatre London.

Recommended for

Those who enjoy Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Spamalot will find similarly zany humour here.

Age Recommendations: 12+ Years

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes (including an interval)
Opened: 10 Mar 2016
Press night: 15 Mar 2016
Booking from: 09 Apr 2016
Booking until: 09 Apr 2016

Location and map

Arts Theatre
6-7 Great Newport Street
London, WC2H 7JB

7 Reviews Add review

A baby in a basket. Cruel Egyptian royalty. Jewish slaves. Plagues. Parting the sea. Commandments. You know the story. Except t... More

ednights 10 reviews, 1 helpful vote

A baby in a basket. Cruel Egyptian royalty. Jewish slaves. Plagues. Parting the sea. Commandments. You know the story. Except this actually isn’t the story of Moses, it’s the story of NotMoses – the could, or should, have been saviour of the Israelites. He too was sent down the river in a basket, but fate handed him the wrong card, and so he ended up being a follower rather than a leader, as well as the butt of all jokes. Yes, it’s an idea stolen from Monty Python’s Life of Brian. It’s also an incredibly laboured joke that sets the tone for the play at large. In his writing debut, Gary Sinyor is clearly aiming for a traditional British comedy with the regional accents and bawdy humour. Within minutes there’s a joke about circumcision, for instance, that stirs some shocked titters. Yet Sinyor fails to sustain a consistent pace – his jokes frequently miss the mark, whilst his characters are stereotypes drier than a matzo leaven bread and his narrative dawdles. As an irreverent satire of religion, the play unabashedly lampoons the Jewish faith. There are overbearing mothers, daily chants full of swearing, ridiculed traditions, and countless references to musical theatre. Some one-liners are funnier than others, but in total there’s nothing fresh here. The production itself also lacks polish. Props and costumes are clearly low budget, the projected backdrops are blurry and scene changes are clumsy – and that’s surprising coming from a writer whose background is in filmmaking. Most of the cast do their best with the material, but when it’s a handful of schoolboy jokes about constipation, Islam (“is lamb”) and having the end of your penis chopped off extended into a two hour show, it quickly becomes tiresome. Try as they may, the cast never break out of their caricatures, from the hapless hero, to the strong female love interest, the pathetic villain, and the camp slave master. As a light-hearted, if shallow, comedy, NotMoses is an amusing enough romp through biblical history that entertains in fits and spurts but its humour isn't even close to the magical highs of the comedy film it so desperately apes. Oy vey.

ednights 10 reviews, 1 helpful vote

A couple of puns were quite good, the rest were average funny, you will laugh and you will not feel bored. Quite entertaining,... More

berbaverde 4 reviews, 2 helpful votes

A couple of puns were quite good, the rest were average funny, you will laugh and you will not feel bored. Quite entertaining, a lot more enjoyable on the stage then on the screen, glad I paid discounted rate though, at full price I would have felt let down!

berbaverde 4 reviews, 2 helpful votes

I felt the cast were strong actors but I just couldn't get into the play. It tried to be funny but at many points it was just lost... More

angelakeating 27 reviews, 5 helpful votes

I felt the cast were strong actors but I just couldn't get into the play. It tried to be funny but at many points it was just lost on the audience. It's no Monty Python (it tries to be) I did laugh at some points but for some, they might find it distasteful, I just felt it wasn't for me.

angelakeating 27 reviews, 5 helpful votes

I wanted to like this show, I really did, but it was just one of the most unfunny things I've ever seen. I seriously considered le... More

parisrevans 160cm, 110 reviews, 13 helpful votes

I wanted to like this show, I really did, but it was just one of the most unfunny things I've ever seen. I seriously considered leaving in the interval and I seriously wish I had as the second half didn't get any better. Good set and clever projections, but sadly the script and direction was seriously lacking.

parisrevans 160cm, 110 reviews, 13 helpful votes

This was a very funny show. Very Monty Python esque and slapstick. It could have been a bit shorter but a fun evening out!

joc78 5"4, 249 reviews, 4 helpful votes

This was a very funny show. Very Monty Python esque and slapstick. It could have been a bit shorter but a fun evening out!

joc78 5"4, 249 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Genuinely the worst show I have ever seen. Too many attempts at a Monty-Pythonesque humour, which was ruined by a terrible script ... More

susannahrosemn 5"3, 138 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Genuinely the worst show I have ever seen. Too many attempts at a Monty-Pythonesque humour, which was ruined by a terrible script and even worse acting. Not sure how this made its way on to the West End. Very unsurprising that it closed early. Awful.

susannahrosemn 5"3, 138 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Funny and entertaining show

dizzyduck 20 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Funny and entertaining show

dizzyduck 20 reviews, 0 helpful votes