Forgive Us, Oh Father!, Space @ Venue 45, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Chevron Theatre
Harry Style and Arnoud Breitbarth (writer / composer), Sophie Rush (director), Olivia Gould (assistant director), Lily Melhuish and Francesca Russo (producers), Jake Pople (musical director), Rich Hodgson (assistant musical director).
Stephen-Peter - Richard Wells (Stephen-Peter), Katherine Reynolds (Lucy), Zac Harvey-Wright (Will), Jess Moncur (Georgina), Barbara Dabson (Emily), Tash Berg (Michaela), Rufus Rose (Lucifer), Sophie Strickland-Clark (Raphaelle), James Freedman (Gabriel), Jake Pople (conductor / keys), Harry Style (keys), Rory Mann (guitar), Rich Hodgson (bass), Chris Cox (drums).
Running time

Forgive us, Oh Father, for we have sinned
We’ll say our Hail Mary
Because the Holy Ghost is scary
Everybody wins if you forgive our sin.

Things are not going well Father Stephen-Peter. For one thing, he has woken up dead and for another he is in purgatory, God’s waiting room between heaven and hell.

The archangels will need to find out why this, presumably pure, man of the cloth is here on the wrong side of the pearly gates. Perhaps there is something he needs to confess?

Confession is something he is rather keen on in his fire and brimstone sermons, but recently these admissions of guilt have become repetitive, every week the same sins and it seems some people never learn. He appears not to be making a damned bit of difference.

The lascivious Lucy, a bored housewife continues her seductions and she is not beyond trying to get into the vicar’s knickers. Her husband, greedy Gavin schemes while his PA, Will forms a revenge love triangle. Devious Georgina becomes a light-fingered cuckoo in the family nest and supplants resentful daughter Emily.

But he is actually rather successful at the confession game and his parishioners are taking his guidance a little too literally. It’s just that he is a bit inattentive, his faith is fading and his idea of the good book is now one of sudoku puzzles.

When the angels ask how he has influenced people it reveals a farcical chain of events as his flock stray ever further and he gets caught in the middle. It seems that he may reap what he has sown when the temptations of hedonism and materialism are set before him. Will he be forgiven?

This musical parable is energetically performed, appropriately enough in a church setting (although unfortunately, it’s a black-box theatre). The songs are original with quirky and often comical lyrics and are catchy, even if you might not find yourself singing from the hymn sheet. The small “orchestra” do well barring a few amplification problems and the vocals are good but not great. The acting performances are sound and the movement keeps the performance lively.

Not heavenly, but the show passes judgement.

Show Times: 11 – 19 (not 13) August 2017 at 4.05 pm.

Tickets: £9 (£7) (£20 family).

Suitability: 14+