The Gospel of Matthew

A virtuoso solo delivery of the greatest story ever told!

“Has a visceral, biting, colloquial power that is quite stunning.”
(The Stage)

Acclaimed by audiences and critics throughout the UK, award-winning actor George Dillon presents an unforgettable vision of Jesus in his highly intense, very human and occasionally humorous solo staging of the first Gospel, in a new translation, performed with an original musical score and video background in theatres or just by candlelight in churches.

A captivating storyteller, Dillon paces the floor taking the audience with him as he relives the story of the Messiah who wasn’t a long-haired hippy, forgiving of all sins, but a flesh and blood man who scorned the wicked and feared the ultimate sacrifice; his death. Challenging and unrelenting, this is a production that commands your full attention.

The List

Inspired by an encounter with Bob Geldof at Euston Station, created in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Dillon’s epic, impassioned performance of The Gospel of Matthew portrays Jesus not as a meek and mild lamb to the slaughter but as a contemporary raging fighter for God – an angry Jesus – a Christ who is angry at humanity but also human in his anger.

Matthew paints the picture of a very Jewish, very apocalyptic Christ… The uncompromising, fiery, ungentle Christ of the first gospel, insisting that he has come to fulfil Jewish Torah and not destroy it, is portrayed with passionate concentration. Dillon’s performance is marked by energy and intense focus presenting, rightly, an uncomfortable, severe and challenging Jesus of Nazareth.

The Herald

George Dillon premiered The Gospel of Matthew at the Brighton Festival in 2002, with music composed and played live by Charlotte Glasson and Stuart Daye and a live video stream VJ’d by APT Visuals (Brighton). To tour the show, Dillon recorded and mixed the music and video into a single track which runs continuously for the entire 90 minute performance.

If there is another one-man show on the Fringe which demands more of an actor than this, I would be very surprised… The production values are excellent: a subtle soundscape (all one track, so the performance has to be exact), video and text (in English, Greek and Hebrew) projected onto the back wall, and a very effective lighting plot… It is an impressive performance. He has found the theatricality of something that is inherently non-theatrical.

British Theatre Guide

Dillon’s version of The Gospel of Matthew is at times startling and challenging in its immediacy but also true to the original scripture, and his performance of it has won praise from all sides of the faith divide. He was nominated for The Stage’s Best Actor Award for The Gospel of Matthew at the Edinburgh Festival in 2003 and his performance was later filmed for Scottish TV.

Most unusually for contemporary drama on this theme, Dillon’s Gospel of Matthew is wholly authentic to the biblical text. Dillon brings out levels of meaning in Matthew rarely heard in pulpits. His rendering of Jesus’s righteous anger is simply shattering; his Lord’s Prayer has an all-to-rare note of urgency.

The Church of England News / Baptist Times

In 2007, in response to several requests to perform in churches, Dillon tried out an ‘unplugged’ version, not only stripping the presentation of the audio and video but also replacing the stage lighting with only a semi circle of candles. The Gospel of Matthew by Candlelight has since been seen in several churches in the UK and in a large tent at the Greenbelt Festival. During Lent in 2017 the show toured to 20 churches, bringing Dillon’s total number of performances of The Gospel of Matthew to 170, uncluding dates in Bermuda, Canada and Poland.

What overwhelms is the absolute relevance of these ancient stories to the contemporary scene. The simple clarity of the teaching of Jesus transcends specifics of time and place. The radical message of loving one’s enemies has never sounded so revolutionary, straightforward, obvious and utterly sensible.

The Scotsman
At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2003 the BBC’s flagship religious affairs program Songs of Praise featured an extract of The Gospel of Matthew filmed during a live performance, and George was also interviewed by the show’s presenter, Aled (‘The Showman’) Jones. The producer of that program was so impressed he persuaded Grampian TV to commission the filming of the whole show for their Sunday Service program, and the result was broadcast in 2 parts on 11th and 18th July 2004.

What Dillon has done is take the intense drama of the Gospel, maximised the emotional impact, pumped up the intensity and created a mesmerising one-man show of sheer brilliance!

 The Argus