Defender of the Faith
Reviewed by Natalie Harmon
Wednesday, 29th October 2014

Stuart Carolan has not only made an amazing programme Love / Hate but his first play Defender of The Faith is definitely another credit to him. Gripping throughout, you will be engrossed!

This play is set on a farm in Armagh in 1986 when an Irish Family who are all part of the IRA are involved in many attacks on the British but when things start to go wrong and bombs don’t go off there is a rumour of a “tattler” and the family become under attack from their own army.

The opening scene was of two boys one a young child Danny played by David Martin with a very funny imagination the other an older boy Thomas (Tommy) played by Michael Ford Fitzgerald sitting at the kitchen table. There was some fast dialogue full of humour. We then get to meet Joe the boys father played by Peter Gowen and Barney a worker and friend on the farm played by Lalor Roddy. From this moment on we realise that Joe is a very angry
man and seems very stressed as a family argument breaks out over a spoon. Which has humour but also contains the information as to where this play is going. There are lots of family lies and secret s which come to the surface throughout the play and we learn of what happened to Sheamie and the boys mother.

I don’t want to reveal all that happens but there is death, lies and deceit. Not knowing what way things are going to go, you are kept intrigued. We see the introduction of J.J. played by Diarmuid De Faoite who is there to figure out what has gone wrong for “The Bossman” who is the tattler?

This is very intense and each character is very passionate about there beliefs in the IRA and trust within the family disappears. Each actor performs their role and you understand each and every character. My favourite
performance was from Peter Gowen who plays Joe. He is fantastic in his role from start to finish. He is a harsh but strong character and will do whatever it takes.

Decadent Theatre Company has done a fantastic job with Carolan’s writing. From the direction of the characters and the set-changes, to the patriotic music used throughout. This all combines to keep you engrossed in each and every scene of the play. There is a lot of bad language used throughout the whole play so if you are easily offended by the use of it , do not attend.

This play is probably something I would not have gone to see but it was excellent. It keeps you gripped right through to the very end. I would highly recommend going to see this play.

Natalie Harmon is a local Tallaght girl with an interest in the Arts, Theatre, Beauty and as a working Mommy an interest in all things kiddy too! She writes for The Beauty Dial and The Liberal among other online publications. Watch out for upcoming reviews from Nat!