Join Queen Jesus – a revolutionary queer ritual in which bread is shared, wine is drunk, and familiar stories are reimagined by a transgender Jesus at fortyfivedownstairs, this January, as part of the 2023 Midsumma Festival.
Winner of the 2021 Green Room Award for Best Independent Theatre Production for its premiere season at Theatreworks, The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven features Kristen Smyth as Queen Jesus, delivering writer Jo Clifford’s provocative and inspiring text.
Under the direction of Kitan Petkovski, Smyth’s powerful performance is supported by a live choir of four singing Rachel Lewindon’s hauntingly beautiful original score.
The result is a transcendent take on what it means to be human, imagining Christianity’s message of love extending to embrace all those traditionally excluded because of their sexuality or gender.
“I wrote The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven because I wanted to resist,” says Jo Clifford. “Resist the profound and damaging shame and fear and guilt that has been with me almost all my life.”
“The shame and the fear and the guilt that comes on almost all of us trans women and men born into this hostile world,” said Clifford.
“Rarely does a work come along that can only be described as perfect, but this production of The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven can only be defined as a remarkably perfect work of theatre.” – Gavin Roach, Australian Arts Review
Director: Kitan Petkovski | Starring: Kristen Smyth | Choir: Alexandra Amerides, Mel O’Brien, Andre Sasalu, and Willow Sizer | Lighting Design: Katie Sfetkidis | Composer: Rachel Lewindon | Set and Costumes Design: Bethany J Fellows | Producer: Ben Anderson | Writer: Jo Clifford
The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 18 – 29 January 2023
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
Image: Kristen Smyth features in The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven – photo by Cameron Grant