Incorruptible? Not these monks and their bad habits at the Millgate

IT is not a business plan you’ll see pitched in Dragons’ Den any time soon, writes Trevor Baxter.

Pictures by Stuart Coleman

But as a get rich scheme for some unscrupulous monks digging up dead bodies and passing off their bones as saintly relics proved a valuable – if immoral – money making scheme.

The church, incorruptible? Well, every denomination has suffered its fair share of scandals down the centuries.

And when your brotherly habits have holes in them, the holes in the monastery walls are even larger and parishioners’ businesses are closing faster than Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain, drastic times call for drastic measures.

So, if you like your plays irreverent but with more than a soupcon of reality about them, Saddleworth Players’ adaption of Incorruptible (June 1-8) – the final production of their 2018/19 Millgate Arts Centre season – could be right up your vestry!

There’s even some X-rated Latin dialogue, providing you know your amo from your amas and amat.

Keith Begley and Martin Clegg working back stage at the Millgate

At the centre of Michael Holliger’s Dark Ages comedy/farce is brother Martin (John Tanner) determined to revive the fortunes and miracles of the monastery anyway he can.

Abbot Charles (Jon Comyn-Platt) is reluctantly dragged into the skulduggery as is Olf (Peter Dignan) and Jack (Sam Reid) the wandering minstrel also with an eye on a quick groat.

Brother Felix (Sam Rowlands) is less enamoured with the scheme as is Marie (Helen Rose) press ganged into becoming the Incorruptible – a non-decaying corpse to ensure pilgrims and the Pope alike would visit your religious order.

Lisa Kay as the Peasant Woman and June Holmes as Agatha, Mother Superior at the rival nunnery complete an excellent cast all directed with her usual aplomb by Verity Mann.

• The new season for Saddleworth Players, Saddleworth Live, Saddleworth Concert Society and Saddleworth Film Society will be unveiled at a special members evening at the Delph Theatre on Sunday, June 9.

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