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Cleansed In Blood


Thom Jordan and the Red Line Productions present CLEANSED IN BLOOD, at the Old Fitz Theatre, Woolloomooloo. 23 June- 27 June.

In the late night spot at the Old Fitz, after the performance of MISTERMAN by Enda Walsh, we were treated to a new Australian work, a monologue written and performed by Thom Jordan, that co-incidentally has a man of religion centre stage, too.

Mr Jordan, himself, a son of a minister, has written a character called Paul, who has a similar background, but unlike the author, has not been ‘rescued’, and has found his way into the ministry of ‘The Way’, onto the treadmill of the charismatic preacher, believing himself to be ‘a miracle child’ who was once cured of a kind of cancer, but has declared it has returned, and rises to heights of idolatry for his congregation, enhanced by the presence of the illness – like a figure of Job, a heroic victim of God, still fervently believing and martyr-like continuing to preach that punishing God’s word.

The character is based around an amalgamation of Mr Jordan and the events surrounding a real prominent Pentecostal Minister who was exposed as having faked cancer for three years. Performing with the oxygen tube clamped to his nose the performance of Paul’s sermon has a mesmerising persuasion of a mania deeply felt. That the empathy of his audience is constructed on a lie, an untruth is at the crux of the work and we reflect that the ways of these ministries, the way of the actor, the way of the rock star, are not too dissimilar. The work of liars – magicians of the devil – all three. All three?

Mr Jordan, with his innocent physical attractions combined with a power of skills is frighteningly  persuasive, as Paul. The persona of the actor, who has disarmingly welcomed us to the space, and character of Paul are ‘horribly’ entwined, so that the conviction of his preaching permeates uncomfortably in the theatre, such that one may begin to want to protest at being ‘preached’ at (considering the subject matter) in that theatrical space, and is ‘shocked’ at the confession of his deception. The experience has the power to whelm one.

The work is travelling to the Edinburgh Festival this year after having begun in Adelaide earlier this year.