Robert White and Lebo Toko. Picture: Supplied

Deepak Chopra postulates three distinct Jesuses. The first Jesus is the historical figure, the one who walked the Earth 2 000 years ago. The second Jesus is one central to the Christian church. 

The third Jesus is the mystic figure that beckons towards enlightenment. 

We each have our own understanding of who Jesus is. The Man Jesus by Matthew Hurt, now playing at the Market Theatre, invites one to a better understanding of who Jesus was before he was integrated into a religious system. 

What was it about this man who changed the course of history for mankind? The Man Jesus traces Jesus’ life before his birth to after his death, witnessing key moments in his life through the eyes of the people who knew him.

As director Robert Whitehead remarks, “this is a work of imagination. There was no ‘The New Testament’, ‘The Gospels’, ‘The Early Church’ or any such thing… which makes what eventually came into being so fascinating”. 

The work is not evangelical, drives no objective, is non-confrontational and is not overly profound.  Yet it is undeniably mesmerising. 

The magic of this work lies in the sheer beauty thereof. The script is masterfully and beautifully written. Lebo Toko, who portrays no less than 12 characters, male and female, gives an astounding performance. Whitehead’s directing is strikingly detailed, and yet wonderfully unrestrained. 

The characters that he and Toko create are all vivid and electrifying to watch. One listens when they speak. 

The production is created with such a great sense of style. It has an imaginative and magnificent set design by Noluthando Lobese, an intriguing and ambience-rich soundtrack by composer Joao Orecchia, and impeccable lighting design by Mandla Mtshali. 

Theatre lovers should be sure not to miss this entertaining, thought-provoking and extraordinary play.