Paul grew up in a very religious small town in Australia: minister father, religious public school, awkward conversations about things that teenage boys do – the whole deal, basically. Aged 18 he moves to the bright lights of Sydney with an idea of doing something with his life. You see, when Paul was younger he was very ill with a cancer that, when he recovered, left him with a belief that God saved his life for some purpose. That he is, as his mother puts it, a ‘miracle child’.
So he moves to Sydney with big dreams and sets off down the path of emotive preaching, looking for wild success. When things don’t go as well as they could, however, Paul takes it into his own hands to advance ‘God’s will’ further and gets caught up in a huge taboo of a lie. The question of this one-man show is, how far will Paul go for success?
Thom Jordan is an impressive performer. He commands the small stage with energy and a dollop of charisma despite having no lighting or tech at all, except a laptop and a remote control – and, when I saw the show, an audience of just four.
This Free Fringe show has the spark of a really good story. The twist, however, comes too late. For a very long time the play feels like it’s going in a different direction completely, and I thought this really was a piece about preaching, and converting – I must admit my interest waned. It’s a great twist though.
Based on a true story, Jordan’s show asks a lot of questions about testing faith, right and wrong and the danger of pride.
Cleansed in Blood is playing at the Thistle King James Hotel (Venue 438), from 20-25 and 27-31 August as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For more information, visit the Edinburgh Fringe website.