Holy and Horny @ mac

As the title would suggest, Tonya Joy Bolton’s one-woman show Holy and Horny explores the difficulties and apparent contradictions of reconciling Christian faith with sexual desire

As the title would suggest, Tonya Joy Bolton’s one-woman show Holy and Horny explores the difficulties and apparent contradictions of reconciling Christian faith with sexual desire. While that idea might seem to have only limited appeal to the non-religious, the play actually turns out to have a universal attraction, and received a rapturous reception from the sold-out audience. Bolton plays a variety of well-observed characters and mixes a sharp script brought to life by animated performance with some terrific and very funny spoken-word poetry.

Generally the tone is comic, and the ending is optimistic, at least for Sheila the central character, but there are also harrowing moments where the story enters the disturbing territory of domestic and sexual violence. One scene in particular sticks in the mind, starting out as a light-hearted and amusing romantic occasion but taking a horrific and shocking turn that made for uneasy but riveting viewing. This is a show that is honest and unflinching throughout.

It is hard to fault Bolton’s performance, which is impressive and sustained over 90 minutes, and the lighting and music are skilfully employed to help the audience negotiate an ever-shifting tone. One of the characters, a wise old woman who hangs around in a graveyard handing out gnomic advice before mysteriously vanishing, is perhaps close to a cliché, but other than that they are a believable if comically exaggerated group that Bolton demonstrates wonderful talent in bringing to life.

It is unfortunate that the play is not having an extended run in Birmingham, its next performance is at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton on October 25th, and is thoroughly recommended. It is a powerful, moving and hilarious show that should not be missed.

By Matt Kears

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Published

19th October 2012 at 3:47 pm

Last Updated

19th October 2012 at 3:47 pm



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