The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven
by Jo Clifford
Join Queen Jesus for a revolutionary queer ritual in which bread is shared, wine is drunk, and familiar stories are reimagined by a transgender Jesus.
Winner of the 2021 Green Room Award for Best Independent Theatre Production, 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 Christianty’s message of love extending to embrace all those traditionally excluded because of their sexuality or gender.
Lyn Gardner called it “moving and infinitely graceful” in The Guardian; the Archbishop of Glasgow called it “an affront to the Christian faith”; and the play has been attracting praise (from those who have seen it) and condemnation (generally from those who have not) ever since it opened in 2009.
“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.”
“An amazing fusion of theatre, storytelling and ritual.” STAGE WHISPERS
“An inspiring antidote to the legacy of shame left by many a church upbringing.” THE AGE
Premiered at Theatreworks in 2021
Photo credit: Parenthesy, Cameron Grant