Its title may give every indication it's a "provocative" performance art piece, yet Abie Bowman’s show is not only smart but warmingly, refreshingly sincere.

The Irish comic ambles on-stage in Guantanamo jumpsuit and crown of thorns (yes, he plays Jesus), and there was a ghastly moment ten minutes in when it seemed the show wouldn’t move beyond a sneering look at how silly religion had become since the Messiah last rocked up 2,000 years ago.

Thankfully, this soon gave way to the show proper, in Bowman’s well-drawn tale of Christ’s incarceration at the infamous Cuban prison camp. As a young Palestinian newly emerged from a cave, he’s bundled off to join the other inmates by US immigration and relates the everyday existence of Guantanamo to the audience.

Plenty of comics have a point to make, but Bowman’s trick here is in making it with charm, while never sounding evangelical (narf!). He’s done his research on the inmates, and real-life incidents are neatly worked into his narrative of the long-suffering son of God.

Being boycotted by Ian Paisley’s DUP can’t hurt a show’s publicity, but Bowman earned his sell-out show on Friday. He’s intelligent, frequently lyrical, and utterly genuine - despite standing in someone else’s sandals for the evening.

Jesus: The Guantanamo Years will be at Upstairs At The Three And Ten tonight (May 5).

* Another of Abie Bowman’s shows, Eco-friendly Jihad, will be at the same venue on May 7, 10 and 12. Sex, Lies And The KKK will be Upstairs At The Three And Ten on May 14, 17 and 19.

Call 01273 709709 to book for all shows.