An unexpected encounter with “god”, sees Lucas Petit’s otherwise unremarkable life changed abruptly and dramatically. As he is lured – by a fake deity – from his mundane life working in insurance and living in suburbia, he quickly (and despite his many misgivings and resounding sense of conscience) grows a taste for excitement and wrongdoing that lead him down the darkest of paths into irreparable damage. It appears to be a commentary on radicalisation, extremism and political corruption, but set in the context of comedy and uptempo musical numbers.
The strong cast of three don’t miss a beat, keeping pace with the comic absurdity and flow of the piece. Alasdair Hankinson plays the title role with appropriate awkwardness and inner conflict, Ashley Smith portrays both Petit’s wife and several other characters and Darren Brownlie provides much of the comedy as a camp god impostor. Both Brownlie and Smith belt out the show’s numbers with gusto and voices well worthy of a West End production, while the score offers an offbeat sassiness.
The themes in this, which include suicide bombing and political assassination (riskily paired with comedy), are serious and sadly pertinent to our current culture, but in contrast, the story and the characters’ journeys as presented here, are far-fetched, cartoonish and farcical. This kind of juxtaposition doesn’t quite hit the mark and is a little confusing in terms of the production’s aim. The comedy in itself is amusing, but somewhat mediocre.
The design of this is excellent, with drawn on cartoon costumes and set (and the set cleverly becomes the props, as each part of it is gradually peeled off and used in scenes until only a sparse frame is left, mirroring the demise of Petit’s own life).
The Rise and Inevitable Fall of Lucas Petit is well played and entertaining. While it may have areas of weakness, it’s heartening to see new Scottish work that takes risks and pushes the boundaries of convention.