Seriously Funny Tour
If laughter is the best medicine, then Adrian Plass and Jeff Lucas are well on their way to earning honorary doctorates in healing through hilarity. I was at Greyfriars Church in Reading last night to experience the third ‘Seriously Funny’ tour. As with the previous two, they were joined on stage by the singer Nicki Rogers whose beautifully poignant songs (including her remarkable new single ‘Just one day’) were a perfect balance to the boys’ banter.
There was a warm glow radiating from the audience as they streamed out into the wintery air after the performance. Pastors and ministers always hope this is the case after their own sermons on a Sunday, but they’d be hard pressed to match the wit and wisdom of the preceding two hours.
Plass and Lucas, both seasoned writers and speakers, have hit on a winning formula: two grumpy old Christian men who’ve stopped living sanctimonious lives. Anyone who’s sat through convoluted sermons, listened to egotistic worship leaders or suffered through boring church meetings can tell you: there’s more than just a grain of truth to what they’re saying. In fact, judging by the belly laughs and knowing glances coming from the audience around me, I’d say their satire was pitch perfect.
It’s a simple philosophy which revolves around amusing anecdotes and skits. They create a comforting atmosphere, encouraging Christians to be honest about who they really are – it’s okay to not live up to the unreal expectations which traditional churches often espouse. It is possible to laugh at the eccentricities of the church whilst still loving Jesus.
While the laughs are plentiful, the moments of quiet sincerity are equally moving. Plass’ poems, touching and filled with pathos, convey real insight into the human condition. Lucas, on the other hand, shared of his experiences of dementia in his family. It’s their ability to recognize the pain and bewilderment inside us all which allows for great wisecracks as well as pastoral discernment.
The evening had many highlights- Plass’ fake gospel reading involving Jesus with a woman offering him an egg was particularly hilarious. It ended with questions from the audience. Some were fun and fluffy (most embarrassing moment ever) but some weren’t (their thoughts on Women Bishops) – a good example of what their show is all about.
I had seen all of them before (Lucas was at the Blackpool Baptist Assembly in 2011, Plass and Rogers at the Bournemouth Baptist Assembly in 2009). But their dynamic together on stage is why I see these tours going on for quite some time yet.
Photos from www.alexbakerphotography.com
Listen to Nicki Rogers’s latest song here.