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Review: Father Brown at Preston Charter Theatre

Posted on - 30th September, 2015 - 4:01pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Events, Opinion
John Lyons (right) as Father Brown Pic: Eastbourne Theatre

John Lyons (right) as Father Brown Pic: Eastbourne Theatre

As a fan of the most recent TV adaptation of the stories by G K Chesterton, this stage production from the Rumpus Theatre Company is right up my street.

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John Lyons (you know, Jack Frost’s sidekick in A Touch Of Frost) takes the lead role and this time round, the Father/amateur detective is on the lookout for what appears to be a multiple murderer. And, with little to no clues to go off (hence the title), he certainly has his work cut out.

If you’ve seen the BBC version, you’ll know that Mark Williams is a friendly, eager detective who has a heart of gold. Lyons shows equal enthusiasm as the Father who gets firmly stuck into this whodunnit, although in my opinion he’s not quite as loveable as Williams (and there’s no sign of his umbrella!). But he’s still great as Father Brown and makes the character his own. I particularly love his umming and aahing as he tries to make sense of the case. Which he does, of course, in typical Father Brown fashion and gives his conclusion, and the reasons behind it, in front of all those involved and affected in the case.

The first scene or so is heavy going as it aims to get the audience and the Father up to speed. While this is important, the historical sections are a little boring and long-winded. After the opener, however, the play takes off and it’s all dramatic music and lighting, screams and bodies as the finger starts to individually point at each of the three characters. But where does the blame really lie?

To find out who the killer is or if it’s all a curse, head to the Charter Theatre at Preston Guild Hall tonight for 7.30pm. Tickets cost from £17.

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