The Ascension of Mrs Leech

This hilarious beginners guide to theology is the funniest presentation of religious concepts imaginable. If you are not familiar with the problematic issues surrounding the nature of God and can barely spell omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence, have no fear - all will be explained. If you neither know nor care, that doesn’t matter either, because The Ascension of Mrs. Leech requires no leap of faith - just a willingness to float on a cloud of comedy.

You won’t find anything much funnier on earth - maybe not even in heaven.

Mrs Leech is a seventy-four year old busybody with a heart of gold. Feeling a little tired, she sits down for a nap, only to find herself waking up in heaven. Once made to feel at home by the angels, she decides it’s time to ask a few questions of God.

Now, as everyone knows, God’s word is law. In a heated exchange this petulant God rather carelessly suggests that if Mrs Leach thinks she can do a better job than he she should take over. Using the vast organisational skills she acquired as chair of the local boules club and sustained with a diet of tea and biscuits, Mrs Leech sets about ruling heaven and earth. She is fully supported by the heavenly host, some of whom clearly have revolutionary tendencies.

This sort of comedy requires a wittily humorous script and actors who can deliver it to be successful. This play has both. Having won the Best Writing award at the London Student Drama Festival in both 2013 and 2014, The King’s Players thrive on good material. Full credit has to go to Student Comedian of the Year finalist Daniel Elliot for providing them with a cleverly constructed comedic plot that includes moral and philosophical debates on homosexuality, damnation and the problem of reconciling the concept of a good God with the existence of evil and suffering. This is no mean feat but with his skill this show provides heavenly humour of the highest order.

If you see Kat Pierce after the show you will appreciate how complete her transformation into Mrs Leech is - even in conversation I initially had no idea it was her. She has created a memorable character who, if she weren’t dead, could go on to have a comedy series of her own, although that shouldn’t stop her. With the exception of God, everyone loves Mrs Leech, especially her adorable little angel Toby who greeted her on arrival in heaven.

With his beaming infectious smile, George Collecott clearly relishes this role as God’s PA. Ally McDermott’s God is unlike anything envisaged before. Forget the traditionally loving beneficent deity; this one is petulant, prone to tantrums and often irritable. His big build and powerful voice contrast perfectly with the slender figure and soft voice of Mrs Leech - it’s hard to imagine two gods less alike. Andrew Marks as Uriel, Sophie Neal as Michael and Lydia Fleming as Remiel complete the angelic throng with celestial performances. If comedy is about timing, then this group has it down to split seconds.

The Ascension of Mrs. Leech is surprisingly amazing and one not to be missed. Who would have thought that such material could be made so amusing? You won’t find anything much funnier on earth - maybe not even in heaven.

Reviews by Richard Beck

Brockley Jack Theatre

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★★★
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★★★
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★★★★
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The Blurb

When Mrs Leech (74, Chairman of the Boules Club) dies, she is fortunate enough to be afforded a place in heaven. It isn't long, however, before her busy-body attitude and grey-haired determination get her caught up in a celestial squabble. Whilst forming friendships with a group of dissatisfied angels, Mrs Leech finds herself inadvertently usurping the petulant, spoilt God and sitting on the divine throne herself. Which isn't very comfy. It could do with a pillow. A witty little comedy play with just the right amount of blasphemy and a lovely kagool.

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