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The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven - Midsumma Festival

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by Mistress of Culture Vultures (subscribe)
I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Event: -
See The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven at the Midsumma Festival from now until 8 May at Theatreworks St Kilda. Book your tickets here.

Theatreworks, St Kilda, Midsumma, Festival, Queer, religion, politics, transgender, Jo Clifford, Kitan Petkovski, Kristen Smyth, Queen, Heaven, Gospel, Jesus
Kristen Smyth as Jesus Queen of Heaven - photo by Cameron Grant, Parenthesy


Making its debut at the Melbourne Midsumma Festival, The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven, written and created by Jo Clifford from Glasgow Scotland in 2009, has toured the world and brings the 'Good News' to St Kilda.

Directed by Kitan Petkovski, performed by Kristen Smyth and accompanied by The Choir (Willow Sizer, Mel O'Brien, Tomas Parrish, and Sherry-Lee Watson), this is a parable for Australia about our contemporary treatment of our transgender community.

Surprise!

Did you know transgender is not a new thing?

'For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can' - Matthew 19:12

Throughout history and sacred texts, there are references to transgender communities, including in the Christian Bible. In some countries, the transgender population is honoured but in many others, transgender people are persecuted, mutilated, and murdered.

Did you know that Aboriginal people refer to their transgender community as Sistergirls and Brotherboys?

Theatreworks, St Kilda, Midsumma, Festival, Queer, religion, politics, transgender, Jo Clifford, Kitan Petkovski, Kristen Smyth
Kristen Smyth as Jesus Queen of Heaven - photo by Cameron Grant, Parenthesy


For those not in touch with our transgender community, The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven, not only provides a social justice platform but education about love and compassion and inclusivity.

Jesus Queen of Heaven (Kristen Smyth) brings the audience to the ritual of communion, sharing bread and wine with our brothers and sisters, regardless of gender. Jesus Queen of Heaven is adorned in a majestic cape and is accompanied by The Choir, who sing angelic acapella like Gregorian chant fused with music composed by Rachel Lewindon.

During the 50-minute ritual, The Choir take on many roles, as acolytes, Greek chorus, and apostles whilst Jesus Queen of Heaven provides a sermon referencing contemporary interpretation of 'The Beatitudes', 'Sermon on the Mount' and the 'Parable of the Prodigal Son' through the lens of Jesus as a transgender female.

Theatreworks, St Kilda, Midsumma, Festival, Queer, religion, politics, transgender, Jo Clifford, Kitan Petkovski, Kristen Smyth, Queen, Heaven, Gospel, Jesus
Kristen Smyth as Jesus Queen of Heaven - photo by Cameron Grant, Parenthesy


This makes for an interesting night of theatre, in a new church, with a few small alterations of the script to make it more St Kilda Australia than Glasgow Scotland. The wonderful part is that it works the messages are universal be open, show compassion and heal those who are ill, look after those who are poor.

The finale of the ritual is The Choir singing an anthem about 'change is coming' and this leaves us with a sense of hope for future generations to be more inclusive and open with our transgender community.

A magnificent production with a great cast and crew and a fabulous performance by Kristen Smyth and The Choir. So hurry to Theatreworks to catch this show before 8 May.
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*Mistress of Culture Vultures was invited as a guest
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When: Sun 2 May, 5:00pm Post-Show Q&A, Tue to Sat 7.30pm
Phone: (03) 9534 3388
Where: Theatreworks
Cost: Booth seating from $92.50 (2-3 patrons) to $272.50 (4-6 patrons)
Your Comment
Looks like a thought provoking production
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|2584) 8 days ago
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