‘Is God Is’ review – Aleshea Harris’ wild, wild Western is one hell of a trip


You’ll enjoy the journey far more than its meaning in Is God Is, Aleshea Harris’ award-winning, darkly comic revenge play about two daughters hunting down their abusive father with nothing more than a rock in a sock. Thrillingly cinematic under Ola Ince’s direction, the 100-minute production offers little opportunity for thought as scenes – each bookmarked with their own title, like a book – flash past. The thinking time comes later, as when the family considers how successful (or unsuccessful), we’re left to ask: at what cost? What message is this grisly, fiery escapade looking to send, or explore? Those two, post-show questions are entertaining in themselves.

To me, it reads like a musing on predetermination, something which is far from unfamiliar to Ince, who also directed the equally brilliant and ill-fated Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe. Our two protagonists are twins Racine (Tamara Lawrance) and Anaia (Adelayo Adedayo), and they are equal in every way – almost. They’ll take turns leaning on each other’s laps, say things at the same time and insult each other, but their clothes offer a clever symbolism of their moral stances. Racine, the more trigger-happy of the two, wears green, while emotional and hesitant Anaia wears orange. Her reluctance is noticeable, too, seen when their mother – referred to, primarily, as ‘God’ and played with hilarious dryness by Cecilia Noble – remarks on an awkward silence instigated by her daughter.

Is God Is is now playing at the Royal Court Theatre until 23 October.

Production Images: Tristram Kenton.

Disclaimer: I was invited to watch ‘Is God Is’ for free in exchange for a review of the performance as a member of the press. I did not receive payment for this review and all opinions stated are honest and my own.

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