Arts

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

REVIEW

Sinners

By Marie Jones

Lyric Theatre

Belfast

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 lyrictheatre.co.uk

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