The god that comes is a passionate ode to chaos and alcohol. It tells the story of a kingdom run by a king obsessed with order and control. He doesn’t like how his people go off in the night for the worship of the god of alcohol and sex Bacchus. The story is told twice. First it is told in the form of a monologue at the beginning of the play and than through the music. This makes the exact plot very clear so that the audience can focus on more important details such as the theme of self discovery and in the second telling it can show the consequences of the story. Despite the play being named after Bacchus and his big song being VERY memorable the real focus is the king and how he learns about himself. In the beginning he is utterly repressed and tyrannical. However as the play goes on he confronts his secret desire to cross dress. This serves as a greater metaphor for how he spends his entire life trying to appear “strong” but this desperation to hide his real desires in fact makes him weak.
The music is very well done doing a great job of capturing the emotions of every moment. Hawksley Workman is a great performer because of how well he incorporates singing, playing his instruments and acting. The acting is especially impressive because he has to balance three characters: the rules obsessed king, his loving but freedom seeking mother and Bacchus god of wine. Sometimes later in the play I ended up mildly confused between the two male characters but it was infrequent.
The story hits as lot of different notes. At first it is comedic but as it goes on it becomes more dramatic and tragic. The comedy is never quite abandoned it is just mixed with the tragic elements. It is admirable how the play doesn’t hide the fairly brutal consequences of its title characters actions, but still shows in the beginning how important what he brings is to the world. His swirling world of chaos is something the repressed and miserable characters need. And it is a metaphor for our own world, were many people still feel repressed and out of touch with what Bacchus offers. We certainly shouldn’t go as far as he goes in this story but our society has very little balance between order and chaos and that balance is essential. The story gives two sides to the story neither fully right or wrong because what the world really needs is balance and both of the main two characters are a extreme example of one side. Representing order is the king who is a repressed tyrant who oppresses anyone who doesn’t fulfill his idea of what people “should” be doing even if they aren’t hurting anyone. Meanwhile on the side of chaos Bacchus is a dancing prancing fun, but insane and occasionally cruel god. He is preferable to the king in that he frees rather than oppresses but he is still more than capable of causing death and pain.
The god that comes is a sometimes funny sometimes tragic look at society and at the same time a fascinating character study. It will be running for one more night, at the Yukon arts center. It is recommended.