AD/BC: A Rock Opera is a rock opera about the birth of Jesus Christ told from the point of view of the innkeeper. It is essentially a purposely low-budget 30 minute parody of other rock operas, most notably Jesus Christ Superstar.
Starring Matt Berry (Snuffbox, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace) as the writer of the production – Tim Wynde – he also plays the Innkeeper who muses that “running an inn is just mumbo and jive”. The Innkeeper has to contend with Tony Iscariot (played by Julian Barratt of The Mighty Boosh fame). Tony is a competing motel owner who has his eyes on the Innkeeper’s wife. As Tony takes all of the Innkeeper’s customers and his wife, the Innkeeper is down on his luck and turns to God played by Matt Lucas (Little Britain).
The songs may not always be the greatest but a lot of them are pretty catchy and funny. It was the subtle stuff I found funny such as: Richard Ayoade – a tall Nigerian/Norwegian man playing Joseph Christ, a phone in the middle of the set inside a tree and the constant falsettos which put King Diamond to shame. And all I have to do is look at or hear Matt Berry and I laugh, he looks like a cute little bulldog but sounds like a sexy man, so confusing, so seeing him prance around in a period-outfit whilst singing in falsetto was pretty funny. Julian Barratt was also pretty enthusiastic in his role of Judas Iscariot’s nephew or cousin I can’t recall, he kind of looked like Fu Man Chu in this… must be those shrimp eyes.
Keep your eyes open for appearances from Noel Fielding, Rich Fulcher, Graham Linehan, Lydia Fox, Julia Davis, Karl Theobald and Sophie Winkleman (Big Suze from Peep Show) often in several different roles. Towards the end I think I counted Noel Fielding in five different outfits.
An interesting release, probably worth purchasing for hardcore fans of the actors involved, but well worth a look if you can borrow it off a friend or rent it. If you hate musicals then don’t bother.
In the extras department there’s a documentary which consists of Tim Wynde showcasing his piano playing talents and talking about the production. There’s also a full-length soundtrack that you can err…watch, and a booklet containing pictures and the lyrics to the songs.