Review: New Marie Jones play Sinners is funny, disturbing and imaginative

Seanin Brennan and Louise Mathews in Marie Jones's Sinners at the Lyric, Belfast



By Marie Jones

Lyric Theatre


SINNERS is a funny take on materialism and false prophets but with an underlying warning to people.

Pastor Walter O'Hare (Michael Condron) is a well-practiced salesman. He's selling religion for money and kudos and doesn't care who suffers as he sweeps into a small Co Antrim farming community and takes advantage of the more gullible.

O'Hare is a slick operator. He talks the Simpson family into supporting him – indeed, to the father (Charlie Bonner) he is God on Earth; he worships him, giving not only his money but a field for the gospel tent. And the people flock.

It's not long, however, before the rest of the family begin to smell a rat – apart from anything else, they are set to lose their inheritance.

In an attempt to expose the pastor, Tania (Seainin Brennan) tries seduction; her friend Coleen (Louise Mathews) eggs her on. Uncle Stanley (Alan McKee) tries to keep everything under control and the others – Adele Gribbon and Michael Johnston, along with Roma Tomelty – play their part. Patrick McBrearty and Christina Nelson have cameo roles that bring a lot of light relief.

Marie Jones has written an entertaining piece, with Sinners, loosely based on Moliere's Tartuffe; it's very funny, also quite disturbing in places, and she has given the actors solid parts to play.

Congratulations to director Mick Gordon and his team for a very imaginative production.

:: Runs until June 3; for booking and information see

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access