Alex David Wright


FR. IAN FALCONBRIDGE, Parish priest at St. Dymphna’s R.C. Church. Early fifties.

MICHAEL FALCONBRIDGE, his father. In the early stages of dementia. Seventies.

MARY KELLY, parishioner. De facto housekeeper. Irish. Eighties.

BRENDAN, parishioner. Irish. Sixties or seventies.

CANON KEITH BLAKE, a senior priest visiting from the diocese. Portly, deep-voiced and balding. Fifties.

KLAUDIA, a prostitute. Very pretty. Polish. Thirties.

ALLIE, Ian’s illegitimate daughter. A girl of sixteen.


The play is set in two living rooms in two different houses in the East Midlands in early May 2005, a few weeks after the election of Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy.

Both are furnished identically: three seater sofa at centre, with chair to right. Sideboard at left. A magazine rack. A coffee table. Dining table at back. The rooms are identifiable and distinguished from the other by props and backdrop.

One of the living rooms is of the presbytery of St. Dymphna’s R.C. Church. On back wall: religious images, a crucifix, a calendar with Our Lady of Fatima on it. Lots of clutter on surfaces. There are always at least three coffee cups on the coffee table, using sitting on old coffee-ringed copies of The Catholic Herald, Q Magazine, Heat Magazine. Piles of laundry on dining table, including clerical clothing and vestments. General effect of scruffiness. Persistent sound of dripping water from a leak. This worsens as the play progresses.

The other is the living room of Michael Falconbridge’s home. This is a much neater room, with no clutter. On back wall, family pictures (though none of them of Ian), 1950s-60s style paintings / prints (think Jack Vettriano), a bookcase containing photo albums, records, CDs. Stashed away somewhere is a tool box. Copy of Daily Mail always on table. Single mug of tea on coaster on coffee table. Mug says ‘DON’T MENTION THE WAR’ on it.