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Woody Allen's God.
By: Hafliši Sęvarsson, Universiteit Utrecht

The story line in Woody Allen's God is twisted and turned. It comes close to utter absurdity as ancient Greek masters have to argue with lonely Manhattan late night theatre visitors in a plot that seems to be falling into pieces every time Allen introduces a new character, which seems to have no relation to the creatures which have already appeared.

God is a reflection of bizarre human life. The scenes incorporated in God are in different periods and different locations. The jumps between the scenes are not necessitated by the play's events themselves, but they are illogical jumps between different worlds, which can occur in every human mind, because these worlds are familiar to every human mind.

Describing the story line like this is better than accounting it because a viewer of God should not have the idea that he or she knows what is happening and why it is happening. God should be appreciated for its stylistic devices, which Allen employs with extra ordinary precision.

Because the viewer knows the worlds he presents, one may get the impression that the piece was produced without a major investment in finding the most suitable scenes. That would make God a mere assemblage of random ideas. However cliché the worlds may be, Allen knits them together so well that the impression becomes that his grip on the story is perfect.

With a nearly perfect grip, the places and peoples in Allen's God each acquire an inner meaning themselves, to which the audience can relate. Whether it is the absurdity of the God-machine or Zeus, whether it is the boredom or the sex deprivation among the actors sitting in the hall or whether it is the final desperate cries from the protagonist as he realises he cannot control his fate, they all present the audience with a concept itself has to deal with. This shock of reality is polished and profound.

In the end, the curtains fall on God but not on the audience. To the late night visitors the concepts do not cease to exist while in God they are merely a joke. The superb style is paralleled only by the sarcastic humour, which is common to much of Allen's work. Whether you read God, see it in the theatre and even become a part of it as an actor, the semi-ridiculous and semi-profound Allen theatre story is a laugh.