Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Opened 3 April 2008
Written: Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed: Rupert Goold
Produced: Almeida Theatre and Headlong co-production
Cast: Douglas Henshall (Satan), Gawn Grainger (Caiaphas The Elder/Saint Matthew), Susan Lynch (Fabiana Aziza Cunningham), Joseph Mawle (Judas Iscariot), Shane Attwooll (Butch Honeywell), Amanda Boxer (Henrietta Iscariot), Ron Cephas Jones (Pontius Pilate/Uncle Pino)
Synopsis: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a time-bending, serio-comic drama in an imagined world between Heaven and Hell that re-examines the plight and fate of The New Testament’s most infamous sinner. Throughout the play figures ranging from Pontius Pilate to Sigmund Freud are called to testify in a trial of 'God and the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth versus Judas Iscariot.' Guirgis uses the violent, chaotic energy of modern America, and particularly of New York, to explore timeless questions of free will and responsibility, of faith and fate.
What the popular press had to say.....
MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Sex and politics are common. But religion has become taboo in modern drama. It returns, wittily and exuberantly, in this play by Stephen Adly Guirgis...What gives the play its life is that Guirgis handles big issues with comic flair. " NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Joseph Mawle’s astonishingly fine Judas electrifies the stage...Guirgis gives theology a dramatic edge — even for agnostics." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot makes most contemporary plays seem safe, timid and dull, and reminds us of what is missing not only from 99 per cent of our drama but from 99 per cent of our lives - a sense of spirituality and of mystery...Guirgis and Goold have a sensational hit on their hands." BEN DOWELL for THE STAGE says, "A strikingly fresh perspective on the story of Judas." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "There are plenty of questions about how a loving God can create Hell and allow damnation, but no answer to them or, indeed, about what motivated Iscariot." KATE BASSETT for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Extraordinary, comic and gripping."
Production photo of Douglas Henshall by Stephen Cummiskey