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Scientology: The Musical

Scientology: The Musical an Adelaide Fringe Review by Steve Davis for The Adelaide Show Podcast

Scientology: The Musical








Things we loved

  • Some great moments
  • Lisa Harper Campbell

Things we would reconsider

  • Lacking exposition for people unfamiliar with Scientology

I think I need “clearing” after watching Scientology: The Musical.

It’s fair to say that either I missed the point or I entered the third level of enlightenment and lost my mind, as L. Ron Hubbard warned.

I have reviewed many shows in my life and been in many, but tonight I struggled to follow the narrative or develop any empathy or connection with the characters. This is possibly because Scientology is completely alien (irony) to my life, other than a background hope that no one in my family gets drawn into it.

This will always be a challenge with religious comedy and critiques; we either need an audience that’s walked in the shoes of the faithful, or we need plenty of exposition throughout. This is especially so in the case of Scientology with its science fiction basis.

Be that as it may, this is the Fringe and this is the space where artists should experiment and that is why it is good the house was almost full and that many people were laughing along.

There was some good stagecraft in this show, some punchy one-liners and an obviously talented cast.

And now I start to doubt myself

I am uncomfortable writing this review as I prefer to be able to wax lyrical like an Operating Thetan, but instead I must lay before you the results of my auditing so you can make up your own mind.

As I reflected on the show on the way home, I began wondering:

  • Was the jumpy nature of line delivery and movement actually related to Scientology?
  • Was the fractured narrative actually related to Scientology?
  • Was the dystopian, avant-garde unmusical-style music (eg, you don’t leave whistling any tunes) an example of some subliminal mind control techniques?
  • Were we being primed?

It is quite possible that it was just my Scientological ignorance that robbed me of the ability to see the allusions, in the same way most of us cannot see Xenu’s thetans.

However, on a brighter note, Lisa Harper Campbell was a joy to watch and I wouldn’t mind betting that as this run continues, this will become slicker and there’ll be more flow.

For now, this is one likely to endear itself to people who have left Scientology or are needing to exorcise memories of their experience, or for pure Fringe souls who are willing to shed some engrams by showing some support to an ambitious troupe.

I can’t wait for this to be further polished and fleshed out to bring us all along for the ride, at which point, George Glass will be officially Clear.

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