Writer: Alan Stocks
Director: Bob Eaton
Reviewer: John Roberts
Father O’Flaherty (Alan Stocks) is no stranger to the Royal Court, he’s been a regular cameo role in a multitude of shows over the years and now the time has (finally) come for the irreverent reverend to take centre stage in his own show.
Father O’Flaherty Saves Our Souls follows the exploits of one of the catholic church’s most unruly figures, but his time his running short as the Bishop has heard of his antics and is now pushing for his expulsion from the Church… With the Bishops visit fast looming Father O’Flaherty has to show how holy he really is and prove that he is the right man for the job.
What strikes almost instantly with this production is the church set design by Olivia du Monceau, this is one of the best sets that the Royal Court has ever had and shows a huge step up in terms of quality too. Likewise, Ian Scott’s lighting design brings many a shadow to the dark corners of the church and lifts it up when the time comes to party!
As Father O’Flaherty, Stocks, obviously shines…you can tell this character means so much to him, after all, he has played him on and off for many years now and it is testament to his intimate knowledge of the character that the script never oversteps the mark, instead it keeps things lighthearted and its tongue firmly planted in its cheek – however occasionally it feels that some of the scenes become a little repetitive and some of the gags a touch overstretched.
As the 70year old housekeeper Mrs. Ruby, Clare Bowles gives the pushy housekeeper plenty of weight and really comes into her own when she has a firm clasp of “Sven”. Paul Duckworth as Father Devlin gives a performance full of delicious mince while Helen Carter and Keddy Sutton as Sisters Harley and Davidson – two nuns on the run with an appetite for men and impressions, pack plenty of punch into their rather eccentric roles.
There is plenty to enjoy in Father O’Flaherty Saves Our Souls, full of innuendo, groan-some jokes, excellently performed songs and one of the best lip sync battles ever staged – If you are wanting a night that will provide you with plenty of laughs then this is the show for you. I will just place my bets now that after the success of this first production it won’t be long before Father O’Flaherty is back with number two of the possibly long running franchise… This certainly has the potential to be the new Mrs. Brown’s Boys.
Runs until 12 November 2016 | Image: Bond Media