IS honesty always the best policy? Can telling the truth sometimes do more harm than good?
These questions are explored in Last Confessions of a Scallywag, a new Irish farce which opens at the Mill at Sonning on Thursday.
On his deathbed, Patrick Lynch wants to right his wrongs, make peace with everyone he has offended and meet his maker with a clear conscience and a quiet soul. So he decides to do the most heartless thing in life a scallywag can do - tell the truth - to friends, neighbours and loved ones.
Then, satisfied with the chaos he has created, he prepares to die. But ... disaster of disasters! He’s not going to die!
Douglas McFerran, as Patrick, leads a strong cast in the show, which is the first play by published poet and professional artist Dwina Murphy-Gibb.
After a one-week showcase run at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London last year, the show won praise from the acclaimed Irish film and stage actor Stephen Rea, who said: “I loved seeing the play. Farce is a superhuman effort that looks like a piece of cake. And you made it look easy. Brilliant.”
Douglas McFerran’s credits include working with Harold Pinter in the West End productions of The Homecoming, No Man’s Land and Twelve Angry Men.
His extensive screen writing career includes the award-winning Photo Finish with James Purefoy and Aiden Gillen as writer/director and Laws of Attraction with Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan.
Also in the Mill cast are Sean Baker (John Breen), Keiran Flynn (Father Ryan), Mary Keegan (Mrs P), Michael Lumsden (Doc Soames), Natalie Ogle (Sarah), Su Douglas (Bertha Lynch), and Susan Stanley (Matty O’Brien).
Mary Keegan was recently seen in Thark at the Park Theatre. Sean Baker’s stage work includes many seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Trevor Nunn’s production of Richard II at the Old Vic.
Keiran Flynn has recently been in Downton Abbey. He appeared in The White Guard directed by Howard Davies and Major Barbara directed by Nicholas Hytner at the National. Michael Lumsden plays Ambridge vet Alistair Lloyd in The Archers and was in the acclaimed Orange Tree Richmond staging of Middlemarch last year.
The show is directed by Sarah Berger, with design by Eileen Diss.
Sarah Berger’s acting credits include three seasons at the RSC playing Olivia in Twelfth Night and Anne Boleyn in Henry VIII and many West End productions including Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell with Peter O’Toole. She is also producing a four play repertory season of new writing at the Hope Theatre, Islington in August.
The show runs at the Mill until Saturday, August 23 and is on again from Friday, September 5 to Saturday, September 27.
Call the box office on 0118 969 8000 or visit www.millatsonning.com