'Reverend Raccoon...is about to deliver one of his final sermons and share the divine knowledge he has acquired on his journey...'
The Life and Crimes of Reverend Raccoon is a one man dark comedy, written by two times scripted finalist and award nominated playwright, Jeremy Fletcher. It playfully addresses some weighty themes and looks at why it is important to keep the faith.
"The character of Reverend Raccoon was created by the actor, Gareth Watkins, and so existed before the play was written" explains Jeremy "Then the two of us talked about me writing a play for Reverend Raccoon. The inspiration came from a combination of how Gareth already perceived the character, and some really sad events that I'd witnessed when I was about 12."
The play is inspired by the consequences of bereavement, and finding comfort in faith and spirituality. Jeremy witnessed the sorrow of close family friends losing their son in an accident, and how the grieving family turned to a spiritualist church to find solace. This experience had a profound effect on Jeremy and prompted him to express his feelings on the issue.
"The eldest son, who was about 16 at the time, was killed on a railway crossing" he elaborates "As a consequence of that, the family joined a spiritualist church with a prominent leader, investing their time and money there. That leader was, many years later, discredited and so much of the play looks at how people can abuse the faith of others but, also, why they need it themselves."
'Reverend Raccoon' is a dark comedy and parodies an archetypal brand of US tv preacher. It includes a mocking, yet identifiable, parody of the allegorical tales that are often used in sermons. Reverend Raccoon's analogy uses potatoes to explain how you should choose the righteous path in life.
Summing up the play, Jeremy states, "Reverend Raccoon is a man of many faces: conman, soldier, father, faith healer and preacher, then God found him. Now he's escaped federal detention, is about to deliver one of his final sermons and share the divine knowledge he has acquired on his journey. He's also going to educate his congregation, the audience, as to why, in life, they should always choose the baked potato option."
The Life and Crimes of Reverend Racoon promises to be an interesting and macabre piece of theatre. For an insight into faith, loss and potatoes get along to the Kings on the 20th...
The Life and Crimes of Reverend Raccoon
Monday 20th November 7:30pm
The Kings Arms
Tickets, price £5/£4 available – click here for more details
For further details see the Facebook event page – click here
Words by Ian Leslie