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Jesus My Boy

Jesus my Boy 12th Dec 2021

Jesus My Boy

JESUS, MY BOY

What is it like to be a father? What is it like to be the father of the most important man who has ever lived? These were the questions explored in John Lofthouse’s masterly performance of John Dowie’s one-man play, Jesus, My Boy at St. Mary’s Church in Micheldever on Sunday, 12th December.

Jesus, My Boy is the story of Jesus told by Joseph, the ordinary, down-to-earth carpenter who is the forgotten man of the Christmas story. And poor Joseph is not even a particularly good carpenter. He tells us how he first meets Mary when she returns to his carpenter’s shop to complain about the wobbly table she has just bought from him. In spite of this inauspicious start, a relationship soon develops and they marry, the relationship surviving Mary’s announcement that Joseph is not the father of their first child. he fact that Jesus turns out to be such a skilful carpenter, unlike his father, only confirming that Joseph is not the father.

This is a play which combines light humour (why couldn’t the Three Wise Men have brought a baby’s rattle rather than gold, frankincense and myrrh?) with the most extraordinary depiction of pain. Joseph’s account of the preparation for the Crucifixion is all the more tragic and distressing because of the way it is described by the slightly bemused Joseph.

Anyone who saw John Lofthouse’s performance as Captain Stanhope in R.C.Sherriff’s Journey’s End would know that John is a consummate actor. In many ways, this was an even more demanding role.

Apart from being a one-man show, it is no monologue. John’s dramatic timing and sensitive movement from warm humour to desperate sadness were impeccable. Small touches, such as Joseph’s pondering upon two pieces of wood in the form of a cross whilst in his workshop were used to real dramatic effect as was his depiction of Joseph’s conversations with Mary.

This was a thoroughly absorbing and moving performance. Jesus, My Boy was performed in the West End by the internationally-acclaimed actor, Tom Conti.

It is difficult to see how that production could have been better than the one which the Micheldever audience was privileged to see at St Mary’s Church.

Tim Pattinson

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