Leicestershire amateur actors to stage world premiere of Father Ted for
Do you want to watch the world premiere stage version of cult comedy Father Ted? Go on, go on, go on, go on!
The hit TV series is being brought to the stage not by professionals in the West End, but by a group of amateur actors in Leicestershire.
They will be performing four episodes of the show, about oddball Irish priests in a remote island community, at the Concordia Theatre, Hinckley, next month after getting permission from the writers.
Kay McMichael, producer of the stage show, said: "One of the writers, Graham Linehan, said we could bill it as the world premiere of an official stage version of Father Ted. We are absolutely thrilled to be able to put this show on. The writers – Graham and Arthur Mathews – were fantastic. They were very supportive."
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The show incorporates four episodes of Father Ted – Competition, Kicking Bishop Brennan up the Arse, Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest, and The Passion of St Tibulus.
Kay said when auditions were held for the show lots of Father Ted fans turned up.
She said: "They were marvellous. Michael Blower who plays Father Dougal McGuire has not held a script at all.
"He is such a fan of the show he knows the episodes word for word. When someone makes a mistake in rehearsals he always picks them up on it. It is incredible."
Amateur actor Roger Collings, the managing director of a south Wigston telecommunications company, is playing Father Ted Crilly.
He said: "It is a joy to do this.
"Most of us in the production are massive Father Ted fans and this is a real labour of love.
"After a hard day at work it is such a release to get stuck into something so funny. It is the best stress reliever there is."
Kay said she and the director Mark Glover came up with the idea to stage a version of the show to raise money for the 400-seater theatre in Stockwell Head in Hinckley.
She said: "We don't have a name as such, we are just a bunch of people who are trying to make sure this wonderful theatre stays open.
"We are hoping this world first will tickle the fancy of people from far and wide and that they will come along and laugh a lot."
The Concordia has also staged versions of other hit TV series such as Fawlty Towers, Dad's Army and the Darling Buds of May.
The show runs from Tuesday, June 5, until Saturday, June 9.
For ticket details, call Judy Peatfield on 01455 847676.