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Edinburgh Fringe 2017

Forgive Us, Oh Father

Chevron Theatre

Genre: Musical Theatre

Venue: The Space @ Venue 45


Low Down

Meet Father Stephen-Peter as he defends his actions to the archangels in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.


Forgive Us, Oh Father! is a brand new musical comedy about what it really means to be a man of God.

‘Forgive Us, Oh Father!’ is a musical that also asks us if we have a confession to make. It explores the complicated relationship between sin and forgiveness. It is a character-led musical comedy that celebrates humanity and the mistakes one must make in life to learn the true meaning of forgiveness and acceptance.

You’ve examined your conscience and are truly contrite. The confession booth swings open and invites you in. A pressing question comes from the other side of the grille: ‘Do you belong in Heaven or Hell?’ Father Stephen-Peter (Richard Wells) is the one who must answer, the priest who’s just woken up in purgatory. Stephen-Peter must retrace his steps and convince the archangels that he belongs in heaven. He’s spent his whole life taking his parishioner’s confessions and now it’s time to share some of his own.

The music is melodic, and the cast delivers it with great energy. The book music and lyrics were created by Harry Style and Arnoud Breitbarth.  Their songs drive the plot and the text poses questions like “Why did you become a man of god?” and the priest answers “Everywhere people are crying, people are dying …”

He hears one confession after another and says “some people never learn” but he never stops trying to help them. Father Stephen Peter lists the things he has done that he thinks will get him into heaven and tells his sinners to quench their thirst in prayer.

This is musical comedy that touches on all the sins we do to live a life and concludes that the people who are the real saints are the ones who realize they are not perfect. It is an enjoyable hour with good music and meaningful dialogue about bribery, prostitution, thievery and well meaning people just trying to get through their days as best they can. The music is memorable and the audience leaves tapping its feet. What could be better than that?