Probably the most common translation of The Bible remains The King James Version, which serves as the starting place for the Kansas City Fringe Festival’s video, “The Fabulous King James Bible.”
As the son of Mary I of Scotland (Mary, Queen of Scots), James inherited the Scottish throne to become James VI of Scotland; but, because Queen Elizabeth of England had no children, on her death, the throne passed to her oldest male relative, her cousin, James. So, while reigning as James VI of Scotland, he reigned England as James I. Enough British history? There’s more.
Known for having sordid affairs with his male courtiers, King James’ sexuality came into question, James did wed Ann of Denmark, bred her, and sired children with her. But, historically, he preferred men. And as King James, he commissioned the translation of The Bible into English. That’s your history lesson for today.
“In the 1500’s the historically gay King James I proposed a new translation of The Bible, birthing the most popular version to date. But why? In this hilariously historically inaccurate play, King James questions the role of the church and the scripture, in both the monarchy and in the homes of the common people in order to make way for his new translation, much to the chagrin of two high priests who are nothing if not traditional,” Michael Knight said about his video “The Fabulous King James Bible.”
The show’s rapid-fire dialogue and banter target an open-minded audience that does not flinch at vulgarities and questionable situations. The video lampoons James’ sexuality with all the flamboyance associated with gay stereotypes. Oh, yes, “The Fabulous King James Bible” pokes fun at the king in the days before the translation begins. The show is politically incorrect, and presents the most un-historic vision of how The Bible developed.
Four actors deliver sound performances as they work their way through this 50-minute piece. They must react quickly to the lines as each shifts from the straight-man to comic (pun intended). All perform with precision. The actor who plays the king pushes his flamboyance to the max. The two men who play the monks are the straight-men to provide the king with targets for his lines. Both monks are good performers. The last character, Georgie, provides some walk-on comic bits until the end when he settles the conundrum. He gives the piece its conclusion.
“The Fabulous King James Bible” follows the successful “The Foreplay: An Exploration of the Birth of Our Nation” which won best of venue at the 2018 Kansas City Fringe Festival. This year’s entry by the same writer/director brings more fun and madness for the not-so-easily-offended.
Get ready to enjoy a healthy dose of absurd comedy with the Kansas City Fringe Festival 2021.