Mary and Joseph disco down to Bethlehem — No room at the YMCA (Fringe Festival)

Mary and Joseph disco down to Bethlehem — No room at the YMCA (Fringe Festival)
Photo: digikuva | Flickr

From Yahoo news:

EDINBURGH – Mary and Joseph boogie on down to Bethlehem with their loud-mouthed donkey in a disco version of the Nativity that is pure kitsch. If awards were handed out at the Edinburgh Fringe for camp humour, then “Discotivity” would be a leading contender for top honours at the world’s largest and zaniest arts festival.

Michelle McManus, winner of the reality TV talent show “Pop Idol”, was understandably nervous about taking on the part of the Virgin Mary in the boisterous production. “I was very apprehensive. I didn’t want to get involved in anything sacrilegious. But the script is hilarious,” said the 27-year-old Scottish singer making her musical stage debut.

Understated subtlety is not the show’s strong point.

King Herod, plotting the massacre of the innocents after the birth of Jesus, gyrates to “Disco Inferno.” When Joseph and Mary find there is no room at the inn, queue camp chorus of Village People offering the “YMCA” as alternative accommodation. As the couple puzzle over a name for their child, Mary goes into labour, doubles up in pain and shouts “Jesus Christ!”

The musical, which is to transfer to London after Edinburgh, was written by British journalist Toby Rose. He said of the show that has a baby Jesus wheeled around stage in a supermarket trolley: “It’s all done in the best possible taste.” “It’s cheeky, has loads of jokes but we like to think it is theologically sound. Its heart is in the right place. We want people to come out thinking it was funny, not offensive.”

McManus has had a chequered career since winning Pop Idol in 2003 with 6.5 million phone-in votes.

A number one hit single was swiftly followed by an autobiography and an album. But when the second single only reached number 14 in the charts, the record company dropped her. “They had always thought the British public would see sense at the end of the day and not pick this big fat cow as the winner,” said McManus, cheerfully mocking her girth.

The contrast is striking with “American Idol” contestants who produced Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson, Country Music Award winner Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson, who failed to make the 2004 finals but won an Oscar for her performance in the movie “Dreamgirls.”

But McManus, whose career since Pop Idol has ranged from radio presenter to TV comedy cameo roles, has no regrets about her 15 minutes of fleeting fame: “What goes up must come down. It’s longevity that’s important to me.”

Link to article.