Review : God Bless the Child – The myths and legends of a childhood in Ireland

God Bless the Child Lyric Theatre

A new play based on stories by Frank O’Connor Adapted for the stage and directed by Patrick Talbot & Starring the very talented Ciaran Bermingham, Shane Casey and Gary Murphy. Adult actors playing the part of three young boys.

God Bless the Child consists of three O’Connor stories – ‘My Oedipus Complex’, ‘The Genius’ and ‘First Confession’ – told side by side. I’ve never read a Frank O’Connor novel, but I have heard him described as Ireland’s master story teller.

This play is very funny and deals with some of the old wives tales and legends told to children about where babies come from, priests, fathers at war and what happens during first confession.

Michael, who competes for the effection of his mother after his father when he returns from the First World War, Larry, a genius who can’t understand why the world can’t keep up with him, and Jackie, who has the grim task of not only making his first confession and communion, but must also deal with his very obstreperous grandmother.

The man behind this new adaptation, producer, adaptor and director Patrick Talbot, explained how God Bless the Child proved a great critical success when it premiered in Cork last year to packed audiences; “the reactions we had were terrific, people have really enjoyed the way these wonderful stories have come to life on stage; Frank O’ Connor’s writing is so deliciously insightful. And now we’re very excited to bring the production to Belfast. It’s an entertaining and uplifting night of theatre.”


The acting is fantastic and with the use of small props, each actor plays cameo roles in each other’s tales. These usually created the funniest moments.

I loved the boy’s constant excitement to tell us their secrets whilst sitting in the classroom. Each story was equal in story telling humour. You will come away still thinking about it for days after.

Now to seek out more books by Frank O’Connor.

LoveBelfast Rating 7/10

Runs until March 21st. 


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