Theodora van der Beek brings her mystical, ovine oracle Ram to the Assembly Roxy, promising to cure us of our deepest, darkest sins using the pasteurised power of ‘The Divine Lubricant’ i.e. Milk. During the course of this sermon, we ‘the Sheeple’ are asked to show our unswerving allegiance by way of hymn, holy signs and hard cash. However, hanging every one of its 50 minutes run time on a single joke eventually curdles the occasion.
Welcomed by a free-flowing Neophyte bearing gifts, the audience are initiated into the seedy, semi skimmed psyche of Ram before things get progressively more anarchic and unhinged. There are moments of silliness and ingenuity, and Van der Beek is obviously a performer with a keen grasp of the absurd, but little of this lands tonight.
Outsourcing much of the show to the willingness of an audience to participate is always a risky move. If a stronger premise had been employed, it may well have encouraged the flock to become more pliable to requests of “vomit up the darkness” and “suckle at the teat” as carnal projections flicker on a bed sheet and Ram snorts chunky lines of (presumably) baby formula. It sounds funny written down but falls flat on stage, as does a weak attempt at sheep spun stadium rock. It’s a shame because her performance contains genuine nuggets of blissed out daftness that raise a chuckle, but too few to make significant comedic impact.
Visually, Ram of God is at its strongest. The closing act spectacle of our lait-laced leader, exulting atop a ladder, hooked up to a milking machine, is one that will linger long in the memory. However, our homogenised heathen overlord may well feel like heading out to pasture to ruminate on a smarter way to shepherd followers into a true Fringe paradise.