For generations, Catholic undertakers in Belfast have buried Catholics and
Protestant undertakers have buried Protestants. So you’d think now that we
have peace (mostly), we could stick to these rules? But no.
When veteran undertaker, Gerry McSorely, finds his Catholic customers being
stolen by young Protestant rival, Basil Gray, an undertaking war breaks out.
It gets worse when young Polish woman, Irena Bukowski’s cut-price, new-
age, interdenominational funeral home usurps them both.
Three’s a Shroud opened during the Belfast Comedy Festival and there couldn’t have been a more fitting time. With witty one-liners, a few dead body mis-haps and an injection of the ridiculous the new play written by Stephen Large and directed by Martin Lynch had the audience laughing from start to finish.
It isn’t a complicated story – “them’uns” and “us’uns” coming together to oust the Polish infiltrator and an almost happy ever after, but it’s the performance of the four cast members and their various characters that make this new stage play one to go see.
Shaun Blaney’s Goodfella gangster impersonations as Basil and Matthew McElhinney’s wannabe gangsta rapper Simon added an energy to comedy veteran BJ Hogg’s Gerry McSorley. While Nuala McGowan gives a great performance of Irena it’s her demeanor and crude wit as Mrs Johnston, McSorley’s cleaner that wins it for me.
Stephen Large, founder of the satirical Facebook page ‘Dundonald Liberation Army’, delivered an entertaining piece of theatre and is definitely one to watch. With political references, mockery of our contradictory culture and a whole lot of crudeness it’s perhaps not a play to take your dad to but if you don’t mind a little Northern Irish coarseness you’ll get a very funny night out.
The show runs until 21 October with tickets from £15.50 to £21.50 and available from the Waterfront box office, on 028 9033 4455 or online at www.waterfront.co.uk