Confessional

The comedic tone of David Weir's Confessional is clear from the start; as Schubert's beautiful Ave Marie fades into silence, "Good Catholic" Kevin—or, as he puts it, the "Oldest Alter Boy in Christendom"—is reluctantly about to confess his sins to Father Ignatius, who's also his uncle. A sudden lighting change, though, and Kevin is confessing to us—a Glaswegian Alfie who knows family is always stronger than the secrecy of the confessional.

Edinburgh-born Weir’s first Scottish production is grounded on three comedic masterclass performances.

Edinburgh-born Weir’s first Scottish production is grounded on three comedic masterclass performances. Cameron Fulton is always ready with a cheeky grin, as we’re shown the ins and outs of Kevin’s growing pains and his struggles with the expectations of family and church. Yes, we’re supposed to love Kevin, but Fulton’s skill in encouraging certain audience members’ maternal instincts is undoubtedly genuine. Not that Fulton has it easy; there’s little time to relax, and not just because he’s centre-stage for nigh on the whole hour. No, he just happens to share that stage with Jonathan Watson and Sally Reid.

Between them, Watson and Reid play a half-dozen characters, from Kevin’s parents and grandparents to various Priests and the girlfriend of his dreams who dumps him after just 56 hours. These characterisations can’t exactly be described as layered, but they’re full of energy and clarity and there are enough clever sharp lines to keep everyone happy. There’s even recognition of casting limitations–few “Play, A Pie and A Pint” productions have room for more than three actors—when Watson is momentarily faced with the horror of a potential scene featuring Kevin’s dad and granddad–both of whom he plays.

However, Weir knows that the threat of such a scene is enough, and so relies instead on Kevin’s cheeky-chappy, smarter-than- he-appears comedic potential to keep the laughs coming. Some scenes—the son knowing more about contraceptives than the father, for example—are a tad predictable, but director Ryan Alexander Dewar has cast well, and ensures a tight ensemble on stage that successfully delivers a delightful essay on growing up, and finding yourself.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

★★
Traverse Theatre

W*nk Buddies

★★★
Traverse Theatre

Pride Plays

★★★★
Multiple Venues

Oor Wullie

★★★★
Oran Mor / Traverse Theatre

Fly Me To The Moon

★★★★
Platform / Traverse Theatre

The Panopticon

★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Kevin’s a teenager who wants nothing more than a drift through life and the undying love of The One And Only Girl In All The World. But while Kevin sleeps and dreams, The Man in Black has other plans for his future.

Three actors: nine roles. A fast-moving coming-of- age comedy of priests and teachers, mums and dads, school discos and hormones, and that first swig ofv beer, and how hard it is to be good when there’s girls, oh yes, when there’s girls.

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