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BRIGHTON FRINGE: In Loving Memory of Pat Riarchy – One Church

By: Clap Back Club

Reviewer: Simon Topping

The congregation are all gathered in Brighton’s One Church to celebrate the life, or more accurately the death of, Pat Riarchy: father, husband and complete psychopathic narcissist. And as the tiny coffin trundles up the middle of the hall to be placed in position the ceremony begins.

Pat, it would seem has touched everyone in his life, touched them in an inappropriate and ghastly way, and it is the sentiment from his family and the celebrant conducting the funeral that it is good riddance to bad rubbish.

In Loving Memory of Pat Riarchy is a fabulously funny and thought-provoking piece created and performed by Clap Back Club, the makers of Love Letters to Rappers, winners of the Brighton Fringe ‘Audience Choice Award’ 2018. Staged in a church (a very apt venue) as a funeral service, the show provides musical parodies, a slide show, physical theatre and six monologues from the family members and people close to Pat.

The piece is held together by the celebrant, played by Beth Hodd. Hodd puts in a fantastic performance; her impressions of Pat, who funnily enough sounds like Donald Trump, have the crowd in fits of uproarious laughter. She is a good physical performer with great comic timing and a beautiful singing voice. Hodd is responsible for some of the best set pieces, as the play, an attack on patriarchy, develops. Her ‘No means No’ piece and Men’s guide to rape prevention are particularly powerful and funny too.

The ceremony provides a device to explain the history of feminism and how Pat Riarchy didn’t like any of it; trying to squash it where he could. All seven members of the cast have their chances to shine in a 75-minute performance, which feels like it could be edited to an hour to make it more cohesive. Occasionally the juxtaposing tone of the differing sections becomes jarring but there is a lot to like in this piece.

Rhys Mobsby as Pat’s son executes a very funny song about being gay and how he feels released from his father’s scrutiny. Pat’s secretary, played by Hattie Snooks, does a great Alanis Morissette parody and Cameron Brown as Pat’s friend Homer Faux-Bic performs a spirited defence of Pat in a very humorous manner.

The crux of the show is that patriarchy affects us all, oppressing gender, sexuality, race and those in poverty, so say goodbye to Pat Riarchy and everything he presents. A fine message and a fabulous show. Go and see it while you can and join the revolution

Reviewed on 4th May 2019 | Image: Contributed

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