even to see it in case they get contamin- ated.‘ Apart from the / knee-jerk affront which may be taken by those with no knowledge of the play‘s content. there are some specific fabrications which are bound to stir up some fire and brimstone. ‘lt may be offensive because of the fact that I make women very important in Jesus’s life.‘ says Morgan. ‘1 give him an affair with a woman. I felt it was important somehow. He may be God but he was certainly a man and it would be strange if he had absolutely no sexual experience. This doesn‘t loom large in the play although I‘m sure it will be seized upon. It will offend some people. I know. because it‘s generally argued by believers that he has a kind of purity that nobody else has ever had.’

So. contrary to suggestions in the rumour mill. Morgan‘s Jesus is not gay: ‘that‘s been done already.’

he says. Morgan reserves that

sexual orientation for John. referred to as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved' a number of times in his own gospeL However. Morgan‘s biggest departure from the biblical account is to end his version with Christ‘s crucifixion and leave the resurrection as a matter of conjecture; highlighting the life without the afterlife. By leaving the ending open. he hopes to offer a more thought-provoking angle on the man he refers to as ‘the author of the millennium’. ,A ‘Whether it would convert people. I’ve “an! got no idea.‘ he says. ‘Who knows what could happen? If the play has any power at all it might have some effect like that.‘

A.D. plays at The Tramway, Glasgow, Wed 20 Sep-Sat 7 Oct


Raindog is in good - which isn't to say holy - company when it comes to putting Christ into art. After 2000 years, the Jesus thing is still going strong.

South Park Those visionary Juveniles Trey Parker 4 3 and Matt Stone had Christ down as a radio phone- in host with his programme Jesus And Pa/s. Some believed they had gone too far by having him take on Satan in the boxmg ring to decide whether good or evil would be the eventual victor. Most

were upset by traumatic scenes of the local clergy H ‘3‘ entering bookies to lay bets on Satan.

The Last Temptation Of Christ While the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis caused a rumble of religious tut-tutting, the film version nearly saw Martin Scorsese becoming cinema’s Salman Rushdie as peaceful picketing turned nasty, And all because we had Willem Defoe's Jesus ripping out his own heart and humping the hell out of Mary Magdalene. Talk about being touchy.

. ' Steven Berkoff Like Edwin Morgan, the 9“ director and sometime Bond baddie decided there - was no way Jesus could have been celibate when 1‘ he came to staging his own Messiah in Edinburgh last month. 'The love of woman is the love of nature, and the love of God himself,’ Berkoff told The List. 'Jesus did not go against nature.’

/ Jesus Of Montreal International theatre guru Robert Lepage was among the cast of Denys Arcand's 1989 movie in which a group of actors stage their own Passion Play, much to the irritation of the local priests, only to find the story being reflected in their own lives.

James MacMiIlan In recent months the Glasgow composer has attracted more attention for his remarks, often misquoted, about the lot of Catholics in Scotland than for his music, but religious themes loom large there too, notably in his percuSSion concerto Veni', Veni', Emmanuel, and orchestral piece Seven Last Words From The Cross.

Craigie Aitchison The work of Edinburgh-born 75-year-old figurative artist has ranged widely, but the Crucifixion has been one of his major themes, returning to it throughout his 50-year career. As recently as 1994, he won the Jerwood prize for his image of Christ hanging by his arms from the cross.