The Church of Jim is an immersive piece of comedic new writing set in a absurd dystopia in which the audience are the newest members of an illicit, subversive cult. The Church confront the chaos of their political situation and ecology while desperately trying to build a sense of togetherness and unity with the congregation.
It was developed in warehouse and derelict spaces of Moor Theatre Delicatessen’s repurposed warehouse and basement spaces and has been performed at Theatre Deli, Arts Depot, Alphabetti, PBH Free Fringe and Bank Street Arts.
It's true that this inquiry into the fractured self did all start with reading Jim Davidson's autobiography while dog-sitting at a friend's house in the winter. But it became so much more than Jim Davidson. We cut out the Jim Davidson stuff for a start. And I also realised that the show was about finding out our ability to find meaning and beauty in the most meaningless, hideous places.
The Church of Jim has gone on to have members all over the country, and take form in film, podcast, news article, Christmas special performances and Baptism fundraisers.
Theologically, the church desperately pursues a bizarre and incomplete theology in which everything that can be attributed to ‘Jim’ holds a key to humanity’s existence, and survival. Whether it be Jim Davidson, the Journal of Internal Medicine, Jim Fitzwilliam National Park, Jim’s Service Centre, Ohio; The Church of Jim attempts to combine everything Jim into a revealed, unifying Truth. However, there is a sad and powerful situation at the heart of this seemingly inane theological premise.
“weird, wonderful and somewhat outrageous…
with a genuine intention for positivity and community.” – State of the Arts"
"It felt a bit like an hour and half of a warm cuddle, I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Lovely experience of what it feels to have and explore faith of any kind, as well as a brief insight into persecutions some face. Let us know the date of your next sermon, I'll see you there". - Amanda Munro – artsdepot Programming & Participation Assistant
"Andy, Ben and Alfie have made a piece that is infectious and encourages the audience to participate in The Church of Jim. The work is not mocking of people with beliefs but is playful and tickles your sense of humour. They are a young company who have created a strong work that leaves you with a smile on your face. Not one person refused to be part of The Church of Jim, we think that says it all". - Programming team at artsdepot
"Our Artistic Director saw the Church of Jim's debut in Sheffield and immediately decided to look into a way to get the show to Rebuild festival. The cast were stupendous and the piece was the perfect combination of humour and intelligence which has the entire audience swept along with it. Praise Jim!" - Sara Hill
"Truly unique and totally absurd, stunning rhythmic writing, strong comic out-of-time-timing and wonderful other worldly visuals. The hand made set alone is a masterpiece in itself!" - Heather Morgan
"Church of Jim is bizarre and surreal dystopia. A party wrapped up in the guise of cult worship." - Malaika Cunningham, The Bare Project
"Seriously brilliant wonderful eclectic" - Audience
"Inclusive and uplifting. It was really great to be in a room full of laughter - Audience"
Good for the soul" - Audience
"This was post apocalyptical Dada" - Audience
"There was something quite profound about developing a mythos from recycling trash culture and then building a genuine (fleeting) community around it. - Audience"
"The mighty boosh meets songs of praise - Fantastic!" - Audience
"Hilarious, absurd, charming. A really fantastic show which the whole audience enjoyed." - Audience
"I have no idea what i just watched! Had so much fun - bizarre, left field, but very funny, very fun and totally unusual theatre" - Audience
"Hilarious, surreal, bizzare, engaging and very much needed" - Audience
"I love Jim" - Audience
"It is a remarkable thing. An event extraordinare. A theatre of the absurd. An experience of a different kind." - Audience
"Excellent, lacking in human sacrifice." - Audience
"it was amazing... I am in pain from laughing so much. - Audience
"Great! I didn't stop laughing. Excellent ideas. Keep it up guys" - Audience
"It was like Vic and Bob on acid." - Audience
"Wacky and hilarious and chillingly suited for the world we live in this year." - Audience
"I haven't had so much fun with a piece of theatre in ages" - @TomCable1
"Get yourselves to this show everyone! It is brilliant! The most I've laughed in years!!!" - @CharElizabeth92
"an absurd, hilarious church service for the end times." - @LaurencePeacock
"Strange, wacky, absolutely fab, soooo funny! Had me crying" - Audience